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  3. 10. General
  4. 10.14 Referring to Family and Child Connect or intensive family support services for early intervention
  5. Key steps
  6. 2. Roles and functions of intensive family support services

2. Roles and functions of intensive family support services

Intensive Family Support services are funded services that provide family support delivered under a lead case management model to address multiple and/or complex needs and assist families to build their capacity to care for and protect their children.

The purpose of Intensive Family Support is to build resilience and independence in highly vulnerable families.  The benefits being sought from this initiative are: 

  1. Highly vulnerable families receive the support they need to become stronger, more capable and resilient
  2. Improved life outcomes for vulnerable children, including a reduction in the number of children in need of protection and in out-of-home care and a reduction in risk factors amongst vulnerable children and their families

A more sustainable support service system for families, where government investment proportions shift from tertiary to secondary service delivery; includes a community shift from reporting to Child Safety to referring families to support services.

The intent of Intensive Family Support is to assist vulnerable families to address multiple and/or complex needs and build their capacity to safely care for and protect their children. Engagement with families must involve the active participation of the family in case planning and in demonstrating their willingness for positive change. The primary focus of the engagement is to strengthen the protective factors within the family to ensure children can safely live at home.

The target group for receipt of Intensive Family Support services are children and young people (unborn up to under 18 years) at risk of entry or re-entry into the statutory child protection system, and their families.

Intensive Family Support services provide intensive family support including case management, practical in-home support, brokerage and links to specialist services. A mix of practical, personal development, therapeutic and enabling services are utilised as appropriate, including:

  • practical services that address a specific need in the family, such as transport to medical appointments, establishing daily routines related to meals or getting to school or respite care
  • personal support and development including information and advice, parenting skills courses, budgeting and household skills development
  • clinical or therapeutic services include casework, counselling, emotional support, family mediation, anger management, domestic violence intervention programs, development of social supports
  • enabling services to link the family to other supports via referral and advocacy (e.g. assist with access to housing, child care, emergency relief payment, rental assistance) and case management to coordinate service delivery.