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Our funding programs
A significant proportion of the FACS budget goes towards funding programs that deliver a range of services for children, families and communities in NSW.
The activities of funded service providers are guided by policies and procedures specific to each program area.
Nine integrated Aboriginal Child and Family Centres have been established in NSW which provide a mix of services, responsive to community needs, such as child care, early learning, 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.
The Aboriginal Child, Youth and Family Strategy 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 network 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 District level using data and knowledge from local service networks. The current strategic plan runs from 2014–15 through 2016–17.
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.
The Child, Youth and Family Support 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, assessment, case planning and case management, parenting programs and parent support groups, skills focused groups for young people, counselling and home visiting.
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 is a whole of government universal prevention and early intervention strategy for families expecting a baby or with children aged 0–8 years.
To achieve population level results Families NSW funds a suite of population-based prevention and early intervention services and initiatives.
Families NSW is jointly implemented by partner agencies: FACS, NSW Health and the Department of Education and Communities, together with local government and community organisations. Families NSW partner agencies at the district level conduct three yearly strategic planning using data and knowledge from local service networks. The current strategic plan runs from 2014–15 through 2016–17.
The Forgotten Australians program coordinates and provides direct assistance to people who grew up in care in NSW to deal with the legacy of their childhood experiences and to help 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.
Two further initiatives are provided by FACS. The specialist Care Leaver Records Access Unit assists care leavers with access to FACS records about their time in care. The Historic Records Project identifies and makes accessible relevant records from FACS historic records collection.
Getting It Together is an early intervention program designed to assist vulnerable young people 12–25 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.
Getting It Together delivers case management including assessment and case planning (including referral), casework 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.
Getting It Together funded services also deliver training / workshops and participate in the development of local service networks. The Getting It Together 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.
The Integrated Domestic and Family Violence Services Program is a multi-agency, integrated and coordinated response. It seeks to improve the safety of women and children while lowering community tolerance to domestic and family violence.
The program aims to improve outcomes for those affected by domestic and family violence, including children. It does this through an increased and more coordinated response, coordination and integration of the service systems, and increased priority and effort made by its 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 (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 protection 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 defuse crises, motivate positive change and teach new skills that aim to reduce the most serious risk of significant harm issues. IFBS also refer families to services e.g. counselling, as required.
FACS 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 services target families where a child aged 0–18 is the subject of a risk of significant harm report, and is at 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 support and services.
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.
Under the program, non-perishable food may be transported, as well as perishable food that can be transported without refrigeration.
For-profit organisations and individuals are not eligible to participate in the program.
The NSW Spectacles Program provides optical appliances to eligible vulnerable and disadvantaged people in NSW.
The program operates via a network of approved participating optometrists and optical dispensers.
The out-of-home contracted care program funds agencies to provide care and support to children and young people who cannot live safely at home or whose families are unable to care for them.
Funding is provided for services where children and young people are placed with foster parents, with relatives (kinship care), in residential care or in independent living arrangements.
Agencies are also funded to provide non placement support services including to those in care and those who have left out-of-home care.
The Protecting Aboriginal Children Together (PACT) service model is being piloted in two sites (Shellharbour and Moree) and provides funding to an Aboriginal service provider in each site. The provider enables external consultation and cultural advice to FACS 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. The Program Guidelines provide stakeholders with an overview of the program.
PACT is based on the Victorian Lakidjeka (ACSASS) model and has been adapted to suit a NSW context.
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 non government sector, as represented by peak organisations, industry bodies and consumer representative bodies, to enhance sector capacity and industry development strategies to facilitate FACS reforms.
Social Benefit Bonds are a new way of building innovative partnerships with the non-government sector and investors to deliver measurable and outcomes-based services.
Social Benefit Bonds provide new, additional funding for important early intervention and prevention services.
The Specialist Homelessness Services 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.
Staying Home Leaving Violence (SHLV) is a homeless prevention initiative aimed at reducing risk to children experiencing domestic and family violence 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 and keeping safe.
Partnerships with key stakeholders ensure effective services are delivered to clients, including appropriate legal responses, counselling, group work and income maintenance.
The initiative aims to build stakeholder capacity to assist victims of domestic and family violence to stay home safely. At the same time it aims to raise awareness of alternative accommodation options for the excluded person.
SHLV services extend the options for victims escaping violence and are found to be achieving positive results for both adult and child victims. Results include sustained accommodation, sustained employment and education and improved safety.
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 to effectively respond to 9-15 year old children and young people who have been reported to the FACS Helpline and identified as being at risk of significant harm or vulnerable to being reported as risk of significant harm.
The program aims to keep children and young people safe and developing optimally in a stable and supportive environment.