Families NSW

Families NSW is the NSW Government’s whole-of-government prevention and early intervention strategy that aims to provide children with the best start in life. The program is delivered by the NSW Ministry of Health, Department of Education, and Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).

Families NSW is underpinned by a substantial body of evidence that demonstrates the importance of the early years in a child’s development, and the long-term effectiveness of support provided to parents and children during these years.

This document relates to activities funded by FACS, under the Families NSW program. The provision of prevention and early intervention services is based on local needs and identified local priorities in Families NSW areas.

The Families NSW strategy is targeted at children aged 0–8 years and their parents. Families NSW provides six types of service. These are:

  • supported playgroups – providing an opportunity for parents to share experiences of parenting and for children to socialise, play and learn in a structured and positive environment. Supported playgroups provide a support network for parents and opportunities for parents to learn new parenting skills they may otherwise not acquire. For children, supported playgroups create opportunities for age-appropriate learning experiences and activities that help them become ‘ready for school’
  • parenting programs – providing parents with effective activities, information and coaching to assist them to build positive parenting skills
  • family workers – working to improve the outcomes and well-being of families with young children by providing support for parenting, and facilitating informal support groups and access to appropriate services. Family workers assist parents to understand their child’s development and support them to develop confidence with parenting skills
  • community capacity building – community-based projects aiming to strengthen the connections community members make with local services available to them
  • partnerships and network projects
    • supporting service providers to work collaboratively to improve conditions in the local community
    • improving prevention and early intervention approaches by making local connections between services. This will improve people’s access and engagement with services and improves results for clients

All Family NSW services must comply with the Families NSW Program Guidelines.

As outlined in the program guidelines, services must provide data about service provision. The Families NSW data collection team will email service providers with reminders about when data entry and survey dissemination is required.

Please contact fnsw@artd.com.au regarding data reporting.

For more information, feedback or updates, please contact Anthony Shannon, Director, Families and Place, FACS at anthony.shannon@facs.nsw.gov.au.

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