CFSS System overview

The Child and Family Support System is made up of a range of services and programs delivered by government and non-government organisations.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) funds and delivers a range of early intervention services and programs for South Australian families and children under the CFSS.

These services respond to different degrees of complexity and safety concerns of children and families, from community capacity building through to intensive case management.

Universal Health and Education

Universal Health and Education play important roles in supporting all children and families.

They include:

  • ante-natal care
  • Child and Family Health Services (CaFHS)
  • child care and playgroups
  • pre-schools and schools.

Universal services are delivered by the State Government’s agencies for health,
education and human services to  provide early identification and referral for children and families who may require targeted support.

These services are very well placed to support families early to prevent or reduce family vulnerability and risk to children.

Tier 3: Family support services

Targeted Health and Human Services

Targeted Health and Human Services provide support to children and families with additional needs. These services aim to minimise the effect of risk factors for children and families by building protective factors and resilience.

Targeted Health and Human Services include:

  • drug and alcohol services
  • mental health services
  • collaborative case management services, and
  • housing support.

Child Safe Environments

The Child Safe Environments program supports organisations providing services to children and young people to build and maintain environments that are both child safe and child-friendly.

Learn more about Child Safe Environments

Adults Supporting Kids (ASK)

ASK is a self-service website with information for anyone concerned about the safety or wellbeing of a child, young person, or family. It is a safe place to find support and connect with information, free local support services or someone to talk to.

Features include:

  • topic pages with information and main services
  • a service directory
  • a self-reflective tool (Just ASK) for those unsure what help they are looking for
  • a professional portal for those working with children, young people, and families.

ASK is managed by the Department of Human Services.

Visit the Adults Supporting Kids website

CFSS Family Support Services

Family Support Services provide case management and programs for children and families with low-level safety concerns. Families may be supported by these services if:

  • they have had successful outcomes from their participation with Intensive Family Services, and now need less support, or
  • they are at an early stage of experiencing difficulties. Support now will reduce the chance that difficulties will get worse.

Family Support Services provided by DHS Safer Family Services include:

Tier 2: Intensive family services

Intensive Family Services are specialist services for families with high level safety concerns. The team provides intensive case management to help families move out of (or away from) the child protection system. The aim is to keep families and children together. A team works with the family and other key partners to address risks, but also develop goals and strategies to strengthen family safety, wellbeing and functioning.

Intensive Family Services are provided by both government and non-government services, (including Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations).

Intensive Family Services programs include:

Safe Start (formerly CFARNs)

Strong Start program

Family Practitioner program

Child Wellbeing program

Child and Family Safety Network

Non-government organisations services (funded by DHS)

Diagram: Home-Based Intensive Family Services. There is a link to a plain text description on this page.

Plain text description of the diagram: Home-based Intensive Family Services

Tier 1: Preventing out-of-home care and intergenerational trauma

Preventing Out of home care programs

Prevention programs are underway to test service models for families at immediate risk of having their children placed in care. The initial response is a very high level of intensive family support to address immediate safety issues. This is followed by high intensity support to improve family functioning. The Department of Child Protection (DCP) refers families who have been notified and assessed to be at very high risk of having their children placed in care. Out-of-home care prevention programs are funded by DHS and delivered by non-government organisations.

Prevention programs include:

Safe Kids Families Together

Taikurtirna Tirra-apinthi – Making Safer Families

Resilient Families – Social Impact Initiative

Preventing intergenerational trauma programs

Prevention programs include:

Breathing Space

My Place

Community Services Support Program - Family Support and Early Intervention

The aim of this program is to keep children with families, and not in out-of-home care. Thirteen non-government organisations deliver services to families with low-to moderate-needs across South Australia.

More information

Page last updated 18 August 2023