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Supporting families earlier

The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services is progressing a range of initiatives to build a new child and family support system where vulnerable families and children have access to high-quality services at the right time to help them to maintain the family unit.

Children and young people will be at the centre of the new system, with supported and supportive parents, families and communities.

Family and Child Connect

In most circumstances, children are best cared for by their own families, but sometimes families need support to safely care for their children at home, without unnecessary intervention by Child Safety.

In January 2015, new community-based services, known as Family and Child Connect, were established across Queensland to support families who are at risk of entering or re-entering the child protection system.

Families who find themselves in need of support can contact Family and Child Connect for assistance. If professionals (such as teachers, health workers and police) or members of the community have concerns about a child’s wellbeing, they can also refer the family to Family and Child Connect for information and advice, instead of Child Safety.

A senior child safety officer is based at each Family and Child Connect to assist with identifying and responding to those concerns that may require intervention by Child Safety.

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.

Family and Child Connect are now operating in the following locations:

  • Beenleigh/Bayside (service provided by The Benevolent Society)
  • Brisbane North, South and South-West (service provided by Kurbingui Youth Development, Indigenous Family & Child Support Services and Mercy Community Services)
  • Browns Plains/Beaudesert (service provided by Mercy Community Services)
  • Cairns (service provided by Act for Kids, Community Services Tablelands, Community Support Centre Innisfail and Warringu Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation) 
  • Gold Coast (service provided by Act for Kids)
  • Ipswich (service provided by Kummara Association)
  • Logan (service provided by The Benevolent Society)
  • Mackay (service provided by Act for Kids, C&K and Girudala Community Co-operative Society)
  • Maryborough/Bundaberg (service provided by Churches of Christ Care)
  • Moreton Bay (service provided by Mercy Community Services)
  • Rockhampton/Gladstone/Emerald (service provided by UnitingCare Community)
  • South Burnett (service provided by South Burnett CTC)
  • Sunshine Coast including Gympie (service provided by Act for Kids)
  • Toowoomba with a satellite service in Roma (service provided by Mercy Community Services/Lifeline Darling Downs)
  • Townsville (service provided by Mercy Community Services/Palm Island Community Company).

The final Family and Child Connect services will be established in 2016 to deliver services in Cape York/Torres Strait and Mount Isa/Gulf.

For more information, or to locate the nearest service, call 13FAMILY (13 32 64) or go to the Family and Child Connect website.

Resources:

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Intensive Family Support services

Family and Child Connect is supported by significant new investment in Intensive Family Support services.

These services work with vulnerable families who have more complex needs to ensure they receive the necessary support before Child Safety intervenes.

Intensive Family Support services are now operating in the following locations:

  • Beenleigh/Bayside (service provided by The Benevolent Society)
  • Brisbane North (service provided by Act for Kids)
  • Brisbane South and Brisbane South-West (services provided by Churches of Christ Care)
  • Brisbane South and Brisbane South-West (indigenous services provided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service)
  • Browns Plains/Beaudesert (service provided by Youth and Family Services Logan)
  • Bundaberg (service provided by Churches of Christ Care)
  • Cassowary Coast/Mission Beach/Innisfail/Tully (service provided by Community Support Centre Innisfail)
  • Gladstone and Emerald (services provided by Uniting Care Community)
  • Gold Coast (service provided by Act for Kids)
  • Ipswich (service provided by Mercy Community Services)
  • Logan (service provided by UnitingCare Community
  • Mareeba/Atherton Tablelands (service provided by Community Services Tablelands)
  • Mackay (service provided by Churches of Christ Care)
  • Maryborough (service provided by Act for Kids)
  • Moreton Bay (service provided by Churches of Christ Care)
  • South Burnett/Kingaroy (service provided by South Burnett CTC)
  • Toowoomba and Roma (service provided by Act for Kids)
  • Sunshine Coast (service provided by United Synergies)
  • Toowoomba and Roma (services provided by Act for Kids)
  • Townsville (service provided by Act for Kids).

One further Intensive Family Support service will be established in Mount Isa/Gulf in 2016.

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New domestic and family violence support services

New specialist services are being established across Queensland to better support people affected by domestic and family violence.

These services will complement the roll-out of Family and Child Connect and Intensive Family Support Services and help to build an integrated suite of support services for vulnerable families.

They will strengthen the capacity of the service system to respond to the needs of people affected by domestic and family violence including locations where little or no services were previously provided, and will work closely with the specialist domestic and family violence workers based in each of the Family and Child Connect and Intensive Family Support services.

While support will be provided to any individual, including those without children, the services will also support families at risk of entering or re-entering the child protection system as a result of domestic and family violence. Individuals will have greater access to specialised domestic and family violence support including counselling, court-based services, and perpetrator intervention programs.

A range of organisations have been funded to deliver new domestic and family violence services in the following locations:

  • Brisbane North:
    • Court-based support (service provided by Caboolture Regional Domestic Violence Service Inc.)
    • Local domestic and family violence service system support, domestic violence counselling, children’s counselling and perpetrator intervention programs (service provided by Micah Projects Inc.)
  • Brisbane South West - Local domestic and family violence service system support, domestic violence counselling, children’s counselling, court-based support and perpetrator intervention programs (service provided by Micah Projects Inc.)
  • Bundaberg – Local domestic and family violence service system support, domestic violence counselling, children’s counselling, court-based support and perpetrator intervention programs (service provided by EDON Place Women’s Domestic Violence Service Inc.)
  • Burdekin - Domestic violence counselling and court-based support (service provided by Life Without Barriers)
  • Cassowary Coast – Domestic violence counselling, children’s counselling and court-based support (service provided by Tully Support Centre Inc.)
  • Central Queensland – Domestic violence counselling and support specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Rockhampton, Woorabinda and Mount Morgan (service provided by Helem Yumba Inc.)
  • Charters Towers/Flinders - Domestic violence counselling and children’s counselling (service provided by Life Without Barriers)
  • Emerald – Local domestic and family violence service system support, domestic violence counselling, children’s counselling and court-based support (service provided by Centacare Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton)
  • Gladstone (including Biloela) – Local domestic and family violence service system support, domestic violence counselling, children’s counselling, court-based support and perpetrator intervention programs (service provided by Women’s Health Awareness Group of Gladstone Inc.)
  • Goodna/Springfield/Lockyer Valley - Domestic violence counselling and children’s counselling (service provided by Domestic Violence Action Centre Inc.)
  • Greater Townsville - Local domestic and family violence service system support (service provided by Coalition on Crime Assault in the Home (North Queensland) Inc.)
  • Hinchinbrook - Domestic violence counselling and court-based support (service provided by Hinchinbrook Community Support Centre Inc.)
  • Maryborough/Hervey Bay – Local domestic and family violence service system support, domestic violence counselling, children’s counselling, court-based support and perpetrator intervention programs (service provided by The Corporation of the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane)
  • Longreach – Domestic violence counselling (service provided by Relationships Australia Qld)
  • Pine Rivers - Domestic violence counselling, children’s counselling and court-based support (service provided by Caboolture Regional Domestic Violence Service Inc.)
  • Redcliffe - Domestic violence counselling, children’s counselling and court-based support (service provided by Caboolture Regional Domestic Violence Service Inc.)
  • Redlands - Local domestic and family violence service system support, domestic violence counselling, children’s counselling, court-based support and perpetrator intervention programs (service provided by Working against Violence Service Inc.)
  • Rockhampton - Local domestic and family violence service system support, domestic violence counselling, children’s counselling, court-based support and perpetrator intervention programs (service provided by Relationships Australia Qld)
  • Sunshine Coast:
    • Domestic violence counselling (service provided by The Corporation of the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane)
    • Children’s counselling and perpetrator intervention programs (service provided by Uniting Care Community)
  • South Burnett – Domestic violence counselling and court-based support (service provided by South Burnett CTC Inc.)
  • Tablelands – Domestic violence counselling and children’s counselling (service provided by Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service Inc.)
  • Toowoomba - Domestic violence counselling (service provided by Domestic Violence Action Centre Inc.)
  • Townsville - Domestic violence counselling and children’s counselling (service provided by Coalition on Crime Assault in the Home (North Queensland) Inc.).

Stocktake of family support services

At the heart of the new child and family system will be a greater mix of services tailored to support vulnerable children and families before their problems escalate to intervention by Child Safety.

To ensure that the right services are offered at the right time to families in need, a stocktake of existing government and non-government family support services was conducted to identify the services that were available at the time, and where there were gaps or duplication.

The purpose of the stocktake was to guide future investment in a new and integrated suite of family support services for families that is responsive, accessible and effective.

More information about the stocktake of family support services can be found on the Publications portal.

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