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CFSS Intensive Family Services

Diagram: Home-Based Intensive Family Services. The diagram shows the relationship between different intensive family service groups, and a brief description of who receives the services. Four groups are funded by the Department of Human Services. These are: Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks (which provides services to families where infants are at risk, including infants as yet unborn), Strong Start (which provides services for young parents where infants are at risk, including infants as yet unborn), Family Practitioners (who provide services for families with children up to six years), and the Child Wellbeing Program (which provides services to families with children of school age). One final group is funded by Non-Government Organisations and  Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations. This group provides services to families with children of any age.

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 provided by DHS Safer Family Services programs include:

Family Practitioner program

Family Practitioners are based in the Department for Education children's centres across South Australia. They support high-risk families. They also support Children’s Centres who have identified, and are responding to, child protection concerns.

Learn more about the Family Practitioner program

Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks (CFARNs)

Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks (CFARNs) refers to multiple agencies working together to support families at risk of having their infants placed in out-of-home care.

CFARNs work with families who:

  • are pregnant or have infants under two, and
  • have risk factors that place children at increased risk of harm.

CFARNs provide the first support to families. Other local agencies then take over to provide ongoing support.

DHS Safer Family Services delivers the CFARNs program in Southern Metro, Northern Metro and the Limestone Coast. Relationships Australia SA delivers a fourth CFARN Western Metro.

The networks were established in response to the Nyland Royal Commission.

Learn more about CFARNs

Strong Start program

The Strong Start program works with young, first-time mothers and their families who are experiencing complex issues. Ideally, Strong Start begins working with the parents during pregnancy. The aim is for the families to make a successful transition to parenting and ensure their children have the best possible start to life. Strong Start operates in two regions, North and South Metropolitan Adelaide.

Learn more about the Strong Start program

Child Wellbeing program

The Child Wellbeing program focusses on children in early childhood centres and public schools in South Australia. Specifically, the program improves the safety and wellbeing of children who are vulnerable or at risk.
Services may include:

  • direct case management with children and their families
  • educating staff so they can better respond to child protection risks
  • developing community connections in school environments.

Learn more about the Child Wellbeing program

Intensive Family Services funded by DHS, delivered by non-government organisations include:

Page last updated : 01 Oct 2021

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