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 families experiencing vulnerability. 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, family support services are provided 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 respond to families experiencing vulnerability 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 and address those needs by providing intensive support and facilitating engagement with specialist services as required.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services make it easier for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in communities across Queensland to access culturally responsive support to improve their social, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing, and build their capacity to safely care for and protect their children.

The services collaborate with a wide range of culturally appropriate universal, secondary and specialist services, placement services, and with each individual family, to plan and provide a tailored, holistic and coordinated response to their specific needs.

For any of these services, where it is identified that children or young people have are experiencing or 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 2017-18

 

Tables

DescriptionAnnualQuarterly
FS.1: Enquiries received by Family and Child Connect, by source, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 15 KB) Excel (XLSX, 15 KB)
FS.2: Enquiries received by Family and Child Connect, by referral response type, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 15 KB) Excel (XLSX, 15 KB)
FS.3: Active engagements by Family and Child Connect, by referral source, Queensland Excel (XLSX, 15 KB) Excel (XLSX, 16 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 will benefit from 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 a pathway for families experiencing vulnerability to access high-quality services at the right time to help them maintain the family unit.

In response to the finding of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, the Queensland Government has established a state-wide network of Family and Child Connect and family support services, which offer support to families experiencing vulnerability to address issues without the need for Child Safety intervention.

Since January 2015, 17 Family and Child Connect services, 44 Intensive Family Support services and 33 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services have been established.

In 2017-18, Family and Child Connect services received 30,303 enquiries, of these, 5,987 (19.8 per cent) were self-referrals from parents.

Over the past year, the number of enquiries to Family and Child Connect services increased by 20.6 per cent, from 25,126 for 2016-17 to 30,303 for 2017-18.

In 2017-18, 18,132 families were actively engaged and connected to the right support services. This is an increase of 19.5 per cent or 2,959 families since 2016-17.

Over the past three years there has been an increase 110 per cent in total enquiries received by Family and Child Connect, from 14,435 for 2015-16 to 30,303 for 2017-18.

As families become aware of where they can get assistance and community members and professionals turn to Family and Child Connect for information and advice, more families are getting the support 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.