Department of Human Services

Start of main content.

Designing a more connected child and family support system


A new effort to improve the lives of our state’s at-risk children will begin this week, with the first workshops to design a new system of child and family supports

The new system will be built on a strong evidence base, with research providing new insights into the multiple and complex needs of families across the state, as well as understanding what services are required to provide real improvements in family outcomes.

As part of this, the government is working in partnership with non-government organisations, front line workers, service users, Aboriginal community members and other government departments to design a more coherent and connected system.

The goal is to see more children able to live safe, happy and productive lives at home with their families.

Sometimes children need to be removed from their families for their own safety, but it is important that we don’t miss opportunities to provide supportive interventions that may change the trajectory of a family unit

There are families facing numerous complex issues, such as homelessness, domestic and family violence, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse and numerous other factors that challenge parenting capacity.

Co-designing a system for child and family support will pull together expertise from all these areas to create coordinated service pathways that lead to real improvement in life outcomes for children and their families.

The co-design process will take place across the state over the coming months.

The process involves working with front line workers – like allied health and social work professionals – as well as service users to really look at how  a connected system can be established that delivers the right service in a timely way.

The workshops will consider referral pathways, monitoring and evaluation of services, how services are commissioned and developing the workforce. The co-design process will also look at the best way to ensure services are using trauma-informed practices, which means staff are equipped to work with people in a healing-focussed manner. How to better support Aboriginal families and understand how their culture and history intersects with service provision, as well as identifying the different needs of regional and remote areas are other key points for discussion.

The new system must work with families to address issues early, with the right type and level of support.

For more information on the system reform strategy and underpinning research, visit the EIRD page of the DHS website.

Page last updated : 12 Aug 2021

This site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2021 DHS .[sm v5.5.6.6]