What are Integrated Family Services – Innovations?
Minimising or reducing the risk of involvement by Child Protection by undertaking a culturally appropriate needs-assessment of families, with the aim of improving their environment, lifestyle and/or parenting.
families last year
Who is eligible?
All referrals come from a centralised intake service Child FIRST, available by calling 1300 551 948. These referrals can be self-referred or via Child Protection, schools and other Community Services sectors.
This program supports families with complex needs, brought to the attention of DHHS Child Protection (either in contact with or at risk of contact with Child Protection services).
Creating and implementing an Action Plan is the key to this program. The plan may include:
- re-engaging a child back in school
- linking a parent into a parenting program
- enrolling a child in day care for socialisation
- making appropriate referrals to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
- provide support, advice and information to families
- liaise with appropriate services to provide support to carry out the initiatives of the plan
What to expect
On referral, the caseworker undertakes a comprehensive culturally appropriate assessment of the family’s needs, goals, strengths and risks. From this assessment a Family Action Plan is developed which outlines the services and supports to be provided as well as referrals to be made.
You will either be classed as needing short- or long-term support, the difference being:
Short-term support: 40 hours
Long-term support: 110 hours
Averaging to 2 hours per week for 12 months.
Supports may include parenting skills, psycho-education in relation to the impact of trauma histories, counselling, guidance in navigating mainstream service systems, material aid, mentoring and advocacy. Referrals may include services for disability, mental health, drug and alcohol, family violence, housing, other specialist services.
It may also involve assistance in obtaining crisis accommodation, advocating for housing with the Office of Housing and Aboriginal Housing Victoria, liaising with schools and child protection, advocacy and support at court and with Centrelink, linking clients with community and cultural strengthening activities.