Department of Human Services

Early Intervention Research Directorate

The Early Intervention Research Directorate was established in response to the Royal Commission into the Child Protection System (2016 Nyland Report).

In March 2019, the State Government announced that – in line with EIRD’s research findings and recommendations – a new Child and Family Support System would be developed, including the establishment of a new Community and Family Services Division within the Department of Human Services.

The EIRD system reform strategy (PDF 420.1 KB) and the EIRD summary report of research findings (PDF 508.4 KB) underpinning it are both publicly available.

We have published a summary of the key themes from phase one of the new system co-design - Sept 2019 (PDF 192.0 KB).

We have also published information shared at these workshops:

This information is available in another format upon request. Email or phone 8415 4136.

Common Elements

In September 2019, the Centre for Evidence and Implementation prepared A common elements approach to service provision for children and families (PDF 782.0 KB) on behalf of the Department of Human Services. The implementation of the common elements approach will be a key focus for partners in the Child and Family Support System in 2021.

Common Elements for South Australia (PDF 318.2 KB)

Child and Family Safer Services (CFSS) Co-design Findings

In November 2019, we released the summary of the co-design findings and next steps (PDF 1.2 MB).

Co-designing the Child and Family Support System: Final qualitative report (PDF 3.1 MB)

EIRD's function in the implementation of the new system includes:

  • supporting agencies to implement the new system
  • regular progress reporting to the Social Affairs Cabinet Committee
  • monitoring and evaluating system performance
  • participating in co-design of new service models
  • maintaining a research program to inform service and system design
  • work with the Office for Data Analytics to identify trends and changes in client needs
  • supporting service providers with service refinement
  • negotiating integration of service provision across systems
  • ongoing partnership in the Vulnerable Children’s Project
  • evaluating outcomes for children and families
  • ongoing support to develop the research sector (including post-doctoral fellowships and hosting ISPCAN Adelaide Congress 2021).

Outcomes Hierarchy Working Group

A key component of the CFSS co-design ‘next steps’ was an undertaking to complete a whole-of-system Outcomes Hierarchy in partnership with key stakeholders and system advisors. In 2019 the CFSS Outcomes Hierarchy was developed and provides a framework for making collective progress toward the vision that children are safe and well at home in family, community and culture. It provides program level outcomes over the short, medium and long term for family support services (both government and non-government).

In early 2020 the Outcomes Hierarchy Working Group was established to advise on the implementation of the Outcomes Hierarchy for the non-government sector and the DHS Safer Families Programs. Membership for this group remains open to all interested parties. Email Steph Mudie.

The Working Groups initial focus was to review and finalise the Outcomes Hierarchy and commence an examination of outcomes measurement tools to assist services to make informed decisions in their selection of tools. It is intended tools will be identified not only measure outcomes at a program level, but at a systems level too.

A report on the assessment of the measurement tools undertaken by the Working Group has been drafted: Building a Coordinated Self-Learning Child and Family System – The Outcomes Hierarchy Working Group Review of Outcomes Measurement Tools (PDF 1.6 MB).

Documents that support the report include:

  • Aboriginal System Design Principles (PDF 312.7 KB)
  • Child and Family Services Outcomes Measurement: Assessment Tool Summary Chart (PDF 396.8 KB)
  • Related information


    Alisa Willis
    Director, Early Intervention Research Directorate
    Department of Human Services

    Page last updated : 20 Jul 2021

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