about our funding programs

Approximately 60% of the Community Services budget goes towards funding programs that deliver services for children, families and communities in NSW.

This equates to approximately $865 million during 2013/14. Additionally during 2013/14, Community Services administered Housing funding programs totaling approximately $148 million.

The funded services sector has a major role in providing services to children, families and communities in New South Wales.

At at 1st May 2014 Community Services funded over 775 service providers to deliver approximately 1800 services.

All organisations funded by NSW FACS are expected to comply with general policies in delivering services to the community

The Funding programs are summarised below. These summaries contain links to additional program specific guidelines and information

Aboriginal Child and Family Centres

Nine integrated Aboriginal Child and Family Centres (ACFCs) have been established in NSW which provide a mix of services, responsive to community needs, and include child care, early learning and parent and family support services. The establishment of the Centres was part of the Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership Agreement (IECDNP) – a COAG Closing the Gap initiative and is targeted at Aboriginal families. This program is currently in a transition phase following the cessation of Commonwealth funding to this Partnership Agreement. Services may include supported playgroups as well as parenting programs and adult education opportunities. Staff housing has been acquired in three regional and remote ACFC locations to attract staff and specialists from outside of the region. In NSW, staff housing is located in Brewarrina, Lightning Ridge and Gunnedah.

Aboriginal Child Youth and Family Strategy

The Aboriginal Child, Youth and Family Strategy (ACYFS) is a population based prevention and early intervention strategy for Aboriginal children aged 0-5 years and their families.

To achieve population level results ACYFS funds a suite of services and initiatives including supported playgroups, family workers, parenting programs, community capacity building and partnerships and networks activities. ACYFS services are targeted to the needs of local Aboriginal communities and funding decisions are determined in consultation with representatives of the Aboriginal community. ACYFS planning is conducted in conjunction with Families NSW planning. Partner agencies, in consultation with Aboriginal community representatives, conduct three yearly strategic planning at the Regional/District level utilising data and knowledge from local service networks. The next year strategic plan will run from 2014/15 through 2016/17.

Brighter Futures program

Brighter Futures delivers targeted early intervention services to families with children aged under 9 years, or who are expecting a child, where the child/ren are at high risk of entering the statutory child protection system. Eligible families receive a range of tailored services including case management, home visiting, parenting programs and quality childcare.

Brighter Futures funds service providers across NSW to deliver case management to high-risk children and families. It also funds the operation of the Brighter Futures Unit which has a role in processing all non-ROSH Brighter Futures-potential Helpline reports, processes all community pathway referrals for Brighter Futures Lead Agencies and provides Lead Agencies with child protection history for all referred clients.

Child Youth and Family Support

The Child, Youth and Family Support (CYFS) early intervention service model aims to deliver a broader range of less intensive early intervention services to meet the needs of vulnerable children, young people and families who fall below the threshold for statutory child protection intervention. The model is structured to deliver two streams of service provision:

  • Child and family support which targets families with children aged 0-12 years.
  • Youth and family support which targets young people 12 to under 18 years or families with young people in this age range. Parents will be engaged in early intervention services provided for young people under this service model.

The services provided under this model include: advice and referral services; assessment, case planning and case management; parenting programs and parent support groups, skills focused groups for young people, counseling; home visiting.

Community Builders

Community Builders is a population level, prevention program which aims to strengthen communities across NSW and in particular, the disadvantaged groups within them. It does this by providing services and projects that build community capacity and enhance participation, cohesion and social inclusion.

Community Builders annually funds service providers to provide ongoing services in local communities. Typical services include neighbourhood centres, youth development programs and sector development initiatives.

Families NSW

Families NSW is a whole of government universal prevention and early intervention strategy for families expecting a baby or with children aged 0 to 8 years.

Families NSW is jointly implemented by partner agencies: Family and Community Services, NSW Health and the Department of Education and Communities, together with local government and community organisations. Families NSW partner agencies at the Regional/District level conduct three yearly strategic planning utilising data and knowledge from local service networks. The next year strategic plan will run from 2014/15 through 2016/17.

To achieve population level results Families NSW funds a suite of population-based prevention and early intervention services and initiatives.

Food Program

The NSW Food Program funds service providers to transport and distribute food throughout NSW to support disadvantaged children, individuals, and families and to strengthen disadvantaged communities.

Community Services has administered the NSW Food Program (the Program) since 1 July 2013. The following goods may be transported under the Program:

  • non-perishable food
  • perishable food that can be transported without the need for refrigeration.

Large natural disasters of a magnitude such as Bushfires will not be handled under the Program, but in consultation with State Government under a separate program. For-profit organisations and individuals are not eligible to participate in the Program.

Forgotten Australians

The Forgotten Australians program coordinates and provides direct assistance to address the needs and issues of people who grew up in care in NSW and will help people to deal with the legacy of their childhood experiences and provide support to improve their health and wellbeing. The program comprises four initiatives which were announced in 2009 following the formal apology to NSW Forgotten Australians who had experienced neglect, hardship or cruelty while they were in institutional care. Two initiatives are provided by service providers – ‘Wattle Place’ a specialist support service, through Relationships Australia; and the Care Leaver Australian Network (CLAN), the Forgotten Australians advocacy group. The other two initiatives are within Community Services and are the specialist Care Leaver Records Access Unit to improve access for care leavers to Community Services’ records about their time in care and the Historic Records Project to identify and make accessible relevant records from Community Services’ historic records collection.

Getting it Together

Getting It Together (GIT) is an early intervention program designed to assist vulnerable young people 12 to 25 years of age (priority is given to those under 18 years of age) who are not accessing conventional services to resolve their alcohol and/or drug problems and move to self-sufficient living. GIT delivers case management including assessment and case planning (including referral), case work and brokerage to address the income, health / mental health, social support, educational, employment, training, accommodation and essential needs such as food, clothes and toiletries of young people. GIT funded services also deliver training / workshops and participate in the development of local service networks. The GIT program provides two service models:

  • Services which provide early intervention case management assistance for young people with drug misuse problems.
  • Youth Drug and Alcohol Court program which provides intensive crisis support for young people with drug/alcohol problems who have entered the juvenile justice system.

Integrated domestic & family violence services program

The Integrated Domestic and Family Violence Services Program (IDFVSP) is a multi-agency, integrated and co-ordinated response that seeks to improve the safety of women and children while lowering community tolerance to domestic and family violence (DFV). It aims to improve outcomes for those affected by domestic and family violence, including children, through an increased and more coordinated response; coordination and integration of the service systems; and increased priority and effort made by it's partner agencies toward clients. Child clients of this program are provided with both direct and indirect support, including being an integral part of some families safety plans where risks to children do not meet the Risk of Significant Harm threshold, but there are risks to the child. These projects play an important early intervention role and partner with Brighter Futures and other initiatives to prevent further escalation of violence and mandated child protection responses.

Intensive Family Based Services (Aboriginal)

Intensive Family Based Services (IFBS) provide an intensive, time-limited, home based program for eligible Aboriginal families in crisis (including extended family). Eligible families are those at risk of having their children removed due to care and protective concerns, or those needing intensive intervention to assist with the safe return of children from out-of-home care back home to their families. The primary focus of an IFBS intervention is the safety, welfare and well being of the child and/or young person. The IFBS program is based on the Homebuilders® Family Preservation Model; and on the premise that it is best for children to grow up in their own families and where there is child abuse and/or neglect, skilled professionals can assist families to learn more appropriate ways to care for their children.

IFBS caseworkers work intensively (5-20 hours per week) over a short period of time (12-16 weeks) with families to diffuse crises, motivate positive change and teach new skills that aim to reduce the most serious Risk of Significant Harm (ROSH) issues. IFBS also refer families to services as required (eg. counselling).

FaCS (CS) currently manages six internal IFBS services across NSW; and is currently funding a pilot of four IFBS services in Aboriginal NGOs until 30 June 2016.

Intensive Family Preservation (IFP)

Intensive Family Preservation services target families where a child aged 0-15 is the subject of a RoSH report and is at imminent risk of placement in out-of-home care or, under certain conditions, is to be returned to the family home from an emergency out-of-home care placement. A 12 week period of intensive support including 24 hour access to a caseworker is followed by less intensive but individually tailored casework. The intent is to allow the child to remain safe in the family home with appropriate supports and services.

Intensive Family Support (IFS)

Intensive Family Support services target families where a child aged 0-15 is the subject of a RoSH report and is at risk of placement in out-of-home care. A 12 week period of intensive support including 24 hour access to a caseworker is followed by less intensive but individually tailored casework. The intent is to allow the child to remain safe in the family home with appropriate supports and services.

Out-of-home care program

The Out-of-home care program provides care to children and young people who cannot live safely at home as well as to children and young people whose families are unable to care for them.

Children and young people may be placed with foster parents, with relatives (kinship care), in residential care or in independent living arrangements.

PACT Protecting Aboriginal Children Together

The PACT service model is being piloted in two sites (Shellharbour and Moree). Funding is provided to an Aboriginal service provider in each site to provide external consultation and cultural advice to Community Services (Community Services) about reports regarding the abuse or neglect of Aboriginal children and young people, and about significant decisions in all phases of a child protection and/or out-of-home care intervention. PACT is based on the Victorian Lakidjeka (ACSASS) model, and has been adapted to suit a NSW context.

Sector Development

The Sector Development Program’s primary purpose is to enhance and support a more sustainable service system to ensure positive outcomes for children and young people in need of care and protection and for vulnerable families. Sector Development partners with the sector, as represented by peak organisations, industry bodies and consumer representative bodies, to enhance sector capacity and industry development strategies to facilitate FACS reforms

Specialist Homelessness Services program

The Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) program is a Commonwealth/State funded program which provides funding for a range of support and accommodation services to assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including women and children affected by domestic violence. This program is now managed through Housing NSW.

Staying Home Leaving Violence program

Staying Home Leaving Violence (SHLV) is a homeless prevention initiative aimed at reducing risk to children experiencing DFV by supporting women and children to stay safely in their own home while the offender is removed. SHLV provides comprehensive client risk assessment and management, safety plans, case plans, and education to victims on the dynamics of domestic and family violence (DFV) and keeping safe. The projects develop partnerships with key stakeholders to ensure effective services are delivered to clients, including appropriate legal responses, counseling, group work and income maintenance. They also increase the capacity that stakeholders have to enable domestic and family violence victims to stay home safely and raise awareness of alternative accommodation options for the excluded person. SHLV services extend the options for victims escaping violence and is found to be achieving positive results for both adult and child victims. Results include sustained accommodation, sustained employment and education and improved safety. The program is currently trialing an innovative SOS duress response system which quickly connects victims with Police at the time of an incident. The program is located across 23 locations.

Youth Hope

The Youth Hope program is a four year trial in six FACS Districts of early intervention and intensive services for children and young people aged 9-15 years. The aim of Youth Hope is to develop a range of innovative approaches that will provide an effective response for 9-15 year old children and young people who have been reported to the FACS Community Services Helpline and identified as being at Risk of Significant Harm (ROSH) or who are considered to be vulnerable to being reported at ROSH. The intended result is that children and young people are safe and developing optimally in a stable and supportive environment. Youth Hope will be trialed in specific locations.

CS Programs will undergo continuous reform with a focus on local need and outcome measurement. The Program guidelines will be refined to address impacts and connections with changes including:

  • child protection reforms, as part of a Safe Home For Life
  • homelessness reforms, including Going Home Staying Home
  • localisation, including the requirement to participate in district plans
  • domestic violence reforms, including It Stops Here
  • developments in other programs.

related links:

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (24 hours/7 days)