Wednesday 11 May 2022
Dear sector colleagues,
Family Support and Early Intervention Program will be replaced
As many of you know, we are on a journey to reform the Child and Family Support System in South Australia. One of the new initiatives introduced as part of this reform is the Strong Families, Strong Communities program.
This new early intervention program is designed to better support families with medium-level risk factors before their challenges escalate. Families who have successfully addressed high-level risks and can confidently step down to a less intensive model of support will also be eligible.
To maximise the program’s impact on intergenerational outcomes, priority will be given to families at critical life junctures, including:
- young parents
- families with an infant at risk
- adolescents with complex trauma
- Aboriginal families with multiple and complex needs.
Better serving Aboriginal families is a key goal, with services specifically required to engage effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and to support connection to culture as a key protective factor that enables children to thrive.
The program also includes a focus on services for culturally and linguistically diverse families with case management, group work and community engagement.
A tender for the program, with funding packaged as $4 million per year over two and a half years, opened on Tuesday, 10 May. Further information about the tender process is available on the Tender SA website.
Beginning in 2023, the Family Support and Early Intervention Program will be replaced with Strong Families, Strong Communities (SFSC). I would like to take this opportunity to thank all current providers for your hard work and dedication. I know that your involvement has led to improved family functioning and better outcomes for so many families and children. I strongly encourage all of you to consider the SFSC tender.
SA Youth Week (SAYW)
This week I am also looking forward to the launch of SA Youth Week (SAYW) with a special event hosted by the Youth Affairs Council of South Australia (YACSA) on Friday. Held over 10 days from Friday, 13 May to Sunday, 22 May, SAYW is the state’s biggest celebration of South Australians aged 12-25. The week recognises their ideas, talents and contributions to our community and state, and includes a wide range of events and activities by and for young people.
The Hon. Nat Cook MP, Minister for Human Services will be in attendance with guests treated to a performance from Adelaide-based singer songwriter Tilly Tjala Thomas. If you would like to organise your own celebrations or get involved with the week at DHS, I encourage you to visit the SAYW website to download their communications kit which includes a suite of useful resources.
New CE of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet
In addition to the launch of SAYW, I was delighted to also have the opportunity to meet with the new Chief Executive of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Damien Walker. A proud South Australian, Damien returned to head our state’s public sector after more than a decade in Queensland where he most recently led their state’s delivery of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Queensland Government’s flood recovery efforts.
Damien is an experienced executive who has broad background in strategic planning, industry development and public policy including previous roles within the South Australian Government. Damien is passionate about gender equity in the workplace and the prevention of domestic and family violence. He is also driven to deliver initiatives to create opportunities for First Nations people. I look forward to working with Damien and DPC to deliver exciting initiatives in the future.
Looking ahead, next Tuesday, 17 May is the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). IDAHOBIT celebrates LGBTQIA+ people globally and raises awareness for the work still needed to combat discrimination.
At DHS, we recognise the significance of this day and the importance of supporting our staff and sector colleagues who identify as LGBTIQA+. Sexuality and gender identity or intersex status aren't always visible, so creating a culture where everyone feels safe and has the right to be proud of who they are, is even more vital. You can find some valuable free resources including a workplace toolkit to celebrate the day on the IDAHOBIT website.
Take care and enjoy the rest of your week.
Ngaityalya (Kaurna, thank you)