What ifs

1. What if Child Safety refers a family through early intervention and they do not engage?

If Child Safety refers a family to ATSIFSS and the family does not engage with the service or cannot be contacted, the service must contact the department to advise of such.

In these circumstances and where no new concerns are raised, the receiving departmental officer is to:

  • record this information in a case note (if verbal) or as an attachment (if written and the event remains open) in the event where the referral is recorded: and
  • advise the Team Leader responsible for this event via email.

If new or additional concerns are reported by the service, this information should be assessed per intake procedures.

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2. What if the child and family are eligible for both the ATSIFSS and another intensive family support service provider?

When an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander family is eligible for family support services from both the ATSIFSS another intensive family support service, and prior to making a referral:

  • discuss the referral with the recognised entity to consider the child and family's identified needs
  • contact both the ATSIFSS and the other intensive family support service, if possible, and provide non-identifying information about a possible referral, and obtain information about the level of service each agency could provide to the family and the likelihood that a referral would be accepted
  • discuss with the recognised entity whether the other intensive family support service may be better positioned to meet the child’s and family’s needs, where the other intensive family support service can provide additional culturally responsive supports to the family that the local ATSIFSS cannot. It may be possible for both the other intensive family support service and the ATSIFSS program to work collaboratively with a family by negotiation
  • consider the level of support available to the family from both services
  • consider a referral to Family and Child Connect to assist in determining the most appropriate service/s for the family
  • discuss both services with the child, when age appropriate, and the family and seek their opinions on the service that they would prefer. 

For further information in relation to making an intensive family support service referral, refer to Chapter 10.14 Referring to Family and Child Connect or intensive family support services for early intervention

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3. What if the child or family does not choose to identify with their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage and community?

When an eligible Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child or their parent does not identify with their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage and community, and it is assessed that the family would benefit from family support:

  • discuss the referral with the recognised entity
  • speak with the child, when age appropriate, and the family about the referral to the ATSIFSS.

If the family do not wish to be referred to the ATSIFSS for support speak with the child, when age appropriate, and the family about referring them to another intensive family support service or another appropriate local support service.  For further information in relation to making an intensive family support service referral, refer to Chapter 10.14 Referring to Family and Child Connect or intensive family support services for early intervention

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4. What if the child or family do not want to be referred to an ATSIFSS?

When an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child or their parent does not wish to be referred to an ATSIFSS, and it is assessed that the family would benefit from family support:

  • consult with the recognised entity
  • speak with the child, when age and developmentally appropriate, and the family about the reasons for this decision
  • speak with the child, when age and developmentally appropriate, and the family about referring them to an intensive family support service or another appropriate local support service
  • obtain the consent of the child, when age and developmentally appropriate, and the family to any other referral
  • where considering a referral to Family and Child Connect or another intensive family support service refer to Chapter 10.14 Referring to Family and Child Connect or intensive family support services for early intervention

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