Skip to Content

How do I help parents set up for telepractice?

Giving families a helping hand

Supporting your client to navigate telepractice can manage their expectations and help them gain confidence. To help, we’ve created a guide that explores steps you can use when preparing for a video-based telepractice session.

Client suitability

It’s important to first determine whether your client is an appropriate candidate for telepractice. To help with this, we have developed a form to guide your discussions with families to inform this decision. Once this has been confirmed, a case planning discussion should take place, which involves conversations between you and the client about:

  • what you both hope to achieve through the virtual sessions
  • the potential benefits and limitations of telepractice
  • the modality most appropriate for you and your client.

Getting ready for telepractice sessions

Once the case planning has happened, you are ready to prepare your client for their first online video session. The Setting up guide below will help you prepare a client and highlight any aspects that may make the consultation difficult, so that alternative options can be explored.

At some stage before the telepractice session (e.g. the day before or the morning of the session), complete the checks with your client. The Setting up guide includes examples and wording suggestions you can use. The checks can be done in whatever format suits you, e.g. a phone call or via a series of text messages/emails.

This guide is intended as an example only. Further discussion with your client is recommended to best meet any needs that arise. Practitioners will need to apply their organisation’s consent processes.


Send a reminder text/email

Send a reminder text/email of appointment date, time and location.

Example: text message

Hi Janice, this is Sarah from Children-Reach Clinic. Just a reminder that we’ll be meeting online using the Zoom app at 3:00pm. Click this link at a few minutes before 3pm to join me in the videocall: Thank you.
If you need to cancel/ reschedule, please reply to this text.

Example: email

Subject Line: Appointment Reminder
Children-Reach Clinic

Hi Janice,

Just confirming your appointment at Children-Reach Clinic on Thursday 20/05/21 at 3:00pm. Please click this Zoom link a few minutes before 3pm to join me in the videocall: http://zoom.us112.

If you need to cancel/ reschedule, please reply to this email.

Thank you,


Consent check

If applicable, complete a consent check with the client for the telepractice session. This can be done prior to the session or alternatively, can be confirmed at the beginning of the call. Some consent form examples include:

Example: phone call

Check in with your client at the beginning of the session.

Hi Janice, this is Sarah calling from Children-Reach Clinic. I just wanted to do a quick consent check with you to make sure you understand how our session will work.

  • Firstly, do you have any privacy concerns you would like to raise?
  • Do you understand how the session will work?
  • Are you happy to meet with me via video?

Great Janice, so just to confirm you are happy to proceed with the session?

Great, let’s get started.

Check internet speed

Check that client has good internet connection on the day. This can be done by:

  • making a phone call or sending a text message to the client to check that they are connected to DSL (Broadband), Mobile Broadband or a secure Wi-Fi connection
  • prompting the client to test the speed and performance of their internet connection via:

Example: phone call

Call client a few minutes before the scheduled time for the session.

Hi Janice,

I just wanted to give you a call before we begin to ensure your internet connection is working and is good to go for our session. If possible, we can go through a quick Speed test to check your internet connectivity. If you could please turn on your computer and go to the link: and press GO. Once it has finished searching, read out the numbers to me.

Great, thank you. We are fine to go ahead and start the session now.

Interpreting the Speed test results: Generally speaking, 1 Mbps or more is recommended as the minimum bandwidth by providers of videocall technology.

Check device

Check that the client has selected the device they will use for the session and that:

  • the device is sufficiently charged
  • relevant software is up to date and ready to go
  • your client is prepared to use the software for the session (e.g. Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp etc.)

Example: text message

Hi Janice,

Before our session, please check that your device is charged, and the Zoom app is downloaded and working. If you have any problems, please message me.

Thank you,


Back-up plans

Confirm that the client understands what will happen if internet connectivity fails or they are disconnected. For example, the practitioner will call client and a phone consultation will begin or the practitioner will text message or email client to reschedule the session.

Example: during phone call

Hi Janice,

In our session today, should there be any technological difficulties, I will give you a call on your mobile phone (0400 000 000) and our session will continue without video. Does this sound okay?

Check client's space

Confirm that the client has a suitable session space. This can be done by checking that the client has set up for the video session in a quiet room or area in the home. For further information, refer to How can I maximise privacy and confidentiality when working with parents via telepractice?

Example: during phone call

Hi Janice,

For our session today, please try to find yourself a comfortable, quiet and private area in your home. Do you think finding a suitable space like this would be possible? Are there any issues with finding that?

Example: text message

Hi Janice,

For our video session today, please try to make some preparations to have a quiet and private area for our meeting. Please message me if you have any concerns, or difficulties with this. Thank you.

Check for distractions

Check that the client has minimised the possibility of distractions during the session, by:

  • turning off, silencing, or placing phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode
  • informing family members of session to reduce likelihood of interruptions.

For further information, refer to How do I minimise disruptions during telepractice sessions with families?

Example: at beginning of video call

Just prior to starting the session, speak to your client.

Hi Janice,

Just before we get into the session today, please check that any distractions you may have around you are minimised- so if you could go ahead and silence your phone and inform your daughter that you will be starting an online video session shortly.

Thank you, and let’s get started.

Nice work!

You should now be ready to begin your telepractice session with a client.

Back to top

References and bibliography


Alfred Health. (2020). Video Call: Troubleshooting.

Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) eHealth. (2012). Technical Principles in Telehealth.

Australian Psychological Society (APS). Principles for choosing videoconferencing technology. Telehealth: Principles for choosing videoconferencing technology | APS (

ECIA. (2020). Family Telepractice Checklist.

Noah’s Ark. (2020). Telehealth prompt tool- Version 1.

RACGP. (2019). Telehealth video consultations Guide.

Rogers, B. (2020). A practical guide to working with children and families through telehealth. Emerging Minds.

Speedtest. Speedtest Frequently Asked Questions.

TheraPlatform. (2020). Preparing Parents for Teletherapy (Telehealth).

Wade, V. (2012). Technical Principles in Telehealth. ACRRM. ACRRM_Technical_Principles_In_Telehealth_v2.pdf (

Zoom Help Centre. (2021, April 20). System Requirements for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

This work is supported by the Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.
Back to top