Brighter Futures program

The Brighter Futures program delivers targeted, voluntary child protection  early intervention services to families with children who are at high risk of entering or escalating within the statutory child protection system. The program provides services to families with at least one child aged under 9 years, or families expecting a child, by providing intervention and support that will achieve long-term benefits for children.

Brighter Futures is delivered by non-government agencies across NSW to provide a range of tailored services including case management, casework focused on parent vulnerabilities, structured home visiting, quality children’s services, parenting programs and brokerage funds.

Eligible families will have at least one of the following program vulnerabilities which impacts adversely on their capacity to parent and/or the child’s safety and wellbeing:

  • domestic violence
  • drug or alcohol misuse
  • parental mental health issues
  • lack of parenting skills or inadequate supervision
  • parent(s) with significant learning difficulties or intellectual disability.

The Family and Community Services Brighter Futures Unit processes all Brighter Futures referrals. It also provides lead agencies with information such as the child protection history of referred clients, to assist in determining the client’s eligibility for the program.

The Brighter Futures Program Guidelines provide an overview of the Brighter Futures program.

The Brighter Futures Service Provision Guidelines provide policy and operational guidance on delivering the program.

Community referrals can be made directly to the local Brighter Futures agency. Department of Education, NSW Police and NSW Health staff can make a referral via their respective Child Wellbeing Unit.

*NEW* Updated Brighter Futures Service Provision Guidelines

Following extensive review and consultation with stakeholders, new Brighter Futures Service Provision Guidelines came into effect from 7 August 2017.

A Factsheet on the new Guidelines is provided to help to explain the key changes and improvements to the Brighter Futures program.

Some key new features of the Service Provision Guidelines include:

  • Revised, reformatted and rewritten content and associated forms and tools. These are now current, shorter and easier to understand and navigate.
  • New forms and procedural documents provided separately in anticipation of the introduction of the ChildStory Reporter Community from late 2017.
  • Changed eligibility criteria and the addition of exclusionary criteria to ensure that referrals to the program are made for those families most likely to benefit.
  • All cases where a SARA has been completed prior to referral must have a safety assessment of ‘safe’ (an outcome of ‘safe with plan’ will not be accepted).
  • Families referred must have had no more than 3 child protection reports within a 12 month period – these reports can be 3 separate incidents or issues.
  • Referral distribution of 90% (FACS) and 10% (community), with 90% of vacancies to be occupied by FACS referrals.
  • Families can now receive 18 months of BF service provision with a possible extension of 6 months.
  • Children can provide consent for participation at 14 years.

For further information, or to provide feedback, on the new Brighter Futures Service Provision Guidelines, please contact Brighter.Futures@facs.nsw.gov.au

More information is available from the:

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