Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Family Support Services

Family support services aim to help families nurture and safely care for their children.

Family and Child Connect is an entry point for information and support advice for vulnerable families. Anyone can contact Family and Child Connect for advice and information, including parents, grandparents, other family members and young people.

The role of Family and Child Connect is to assess the needs of a family and help that family link to local services that best meet their needs. Families, community members and professionals seeking assistance can all contact Family and Child Connect to discuss their concerns about a family and what supports are available.

Family and Child Connect may be able to help in a single session, or by taking more time getting to know the family's situation then connecting them to the right services that can help.

In some areas, there are family support services run by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations. Most family support services can offer families the choice of working with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander family support worker.

The department funds a suite of services to support families with various levels of need.

Intensive Family Support services responds to vulnerable families with children and young people who are at risk of involvement in the statutory child protection system. Intensive Family Support is a consent based program providing case management for families who agree to engage with the service.

All individuals who identify as being family members of a referred child and consent to engage are eligible for a service. Case managers work collaboratively with families to identify and prioritise their presenting needs before addressing those needs by providing intensive support interventions and facilitating engagement with specialist services.

Where it is identified that children or young people have been harmed, or are at risk of significant harm, family support services will make a prompt and timely referral to the department’s Regional Intake Service.

Graphs

Number of intake responses to child protection information, by response type, Queensland, 2006-07 to 2010-11Enquiries for family support services, Queensland, 2015-16 to 2016-17

 

Tables

DescriptionAnnualQuarterly
FS.1: Enquiries received by Family and Child Connect, by source, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 12 KB) Excel (XLSX, 15 KB)
FS.2: Enquiries received by Family and Child Connect, by referral response type, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 13 KB) Excel (XLSX, 15 KB)
FS.3: Active engagements by Family and Child Connect, by referral source, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 16 KB) Excel (XLSX, 15 KB)

Table notes.

What is an enquiry to Family and Child Connect?

An enquiry to Family and Child Connect is any contact made that may request information, advice, resources or referral information about support services to address concerns about the wellbeing of children and families.

What is a referral from Family and Child Connect?

A referral from Family and Child Connect is a recommendation when an assessment is made that families experiencing multiple and complex problems meet the criteria for a family support service response.

Why do we have Family and Child Connect?

In June 2013, the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry identified that the number of intakes to Child Safety had tripled over the previous ten years and the majority of families reported would have benefited from a family support response, rather than a report to Child Safety.

The department funds a suite of services to support families with various levels of need.

Family and Child Connect services have been established to provide an alternative, where vulnerable families and children have access to high-quality services at the right time to help them to maintain the family unit.

In response to the finding of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, the Queensland Government is establishing a state-wide network of Family and Child Connect and Intensive Family Support services, which offer support to vulnerable families to address issues without the need for Child Safety intervention.

Since January 2015, 17 Family and Child Connect and 23 Intensive Family Support services have been established. The unique service needs for Cape York/Torres Strait resulted in development of tailored Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Well-being services to commence in late 2017.

It is still early days, but there are signs that the reforms are beginning to have a positive impact. As families become aware of where they can get assistance and community members and professional turn to Family and Child Connect for information and advice, more families are getting the help they need, when they need it, instead of being channelled into the child protection system.

Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.