Department of Human Services

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Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks (CFARNs)

Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks refers to multiple agencies working together to support families at risk of having their infants (aged 0 to 2) placed in out-of-home care.

CFARNs work with families who are experiencing complex issues.

The key objective of the Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks is to contact at-risk women before their children are born and strengthen their parenting capacity. The network builds on each woman’s level of protectiveness and understanding, and on her connection to kinship and community.

CFARNs also support families with infants who are living with:

  • disability
  • complex needs, and
  • child protection concerns.

The network helps these families to access the right services.

Interventions by Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks are:

  • coordinated
  • targeted, and
  • culturally responsive.

This improves each family’s:

  • safety,
  • health,
  • development, and
  • wellbeing.

How Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks (CFARNs) work with families

Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks are culturally responsive. They ensure that Aboriginal people, families, and communities are supported by services that believe in self-determination and true partnership.

Likewise, CFARNs ensure that Cultural and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) families are supported in ways that acknowledge and recognise cultural diversity and practices.

Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks deliver services with openness, honesty, and transparency. They have difficult and challenging conversations with families about child protection risks. They create assessments and referrals to service providers when required. These service providers then support families to improve their safety and wellbeing, using tailored, high quality services.

Page last updated : 17 Sep 2021

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