Families who find themselves in need of support can contact Family and Child Connect for assistance. Where professionals (such as teachers, health workers and police) and members of the community have concerns about a child’s wellbeing, they can refer the family to Family and Child Connect for information, advice, and engagement. Family and Child Connect leads a local alliance of government and non-government services within the community to ensure that vulnerable families receive the right mix of services at the right time.
Referral for Active Intervention (RAI) services are funded by DCCSDS and provide intensive family support for children, young people and their families who may be at risk of entering the child protection system.
There a number of referral pathways into a RAI Service:
- referral from Child Safety Services
- referrals from Department of Education and Training (DET) and Queensland Health
- referrals from other government and non-government agencies and self-referrals, where service capacity allows.
- To make a referral to a RAI service the following criteria must be met:
- there is a child unborn to under 18 years of age
- the family has medium (2-3 current concerns) to high (4 or more current concerns) complex needs
- the family would benefit from access to intensive and specialist support services
- the child and family have had involvement with, or are at risk of progressing into the statutory child protection system
- the child is not currently in need of child protection.
RAI services provide a broad range of intensive support services to children, young people and their families, and can also make referrals to specialist targeted services.
The following are just some of the supports that families might access from a RAI service:
- family counselling, family therapy and mediation
- family household management skills
- parenting skills development
- individual counselling and child based therapies
- links to specialist services and supports such as mental health services and domestic violence counselling.
The aim of Family Intervention Services (FIS) is to support clients of Child Safety Services where ongoing intervention is required with a family because of safety concerns.
The principal aims of the funding program are: to preserve families where a child remains living at home under ongoing intervention and monitoring by the Child Safety Service Centre; and to assist in the reunification of the child with their family from out-of-home care where it is determined by Child Safety Services to be in the best interests of the child.
FIS aims to increase the protective factors for the child by improving the overall attachment between the child and parent. The FIS response also results in the family either exiting the child protection system with improved skills and parenting ability, or the child feeling and experiencing greater security and stability, including a reduction in safety concerns.
FIS also aims to prevent families from re-entering the child protection system by strengthening the caring and parenting skills of the caregiver and their positive participation in family and community life.
Intensive Family Support Services are funded services that provide family support delivered under a lead case management model to address multiple and/or complex needs and assist families to build their capacity to care for and protect their children.
Intensive Family Support Services include:
- Intensive Family Support
- Referral for Active Intervention
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Support Services
- Fostering Families
The purpose of intensive family support services is to build resilience and independence in highly vulnerable families. The benefits being sought from this initiative are:
- Highly vulnerable families receive the support they need to become stronger, more capable and resilient
- Improved life outcomes for vulnerable children, including a reduction in the number of children in need of protection and in out-of-home care and a reduction in risk factors amongst vulnerable children and their families
A more sustainable support service system for families, where government investment proportions shift from tertiary to secondary service delivery includes a community shift from reporting to Child Safety Services to referring families to support services.
Evolve programs are based on the fundamental principles of early intervention, long-term sustainability, connection to land and voluntary participation. Each program seeks to enhance young people’s view of themselves and expectations of future success.
Evolve is an Australian not-for-profit working with at-risk young people who know there’s a better path to be on but don’t know how to get there.
They assist them in recognising their value, redefining their sense of self and making positive choices using Narrative and Bush Adventure Therapy all before ‘at-risk’ becomes a tragic reality.