Closing the Gap - Northern Territory - Family Support Package

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; Department of the Treasury

Key Elements

The Australian Government will deliver $32.9m over the next three years, including $10.5m in 2009-10, to continue the three existing elements of the Family Support Package in the Northern Territory. This includes:

  • Safe Places - 22 Safe Places in 15 remote communities plus Alice Springs and Darwin;
  • Mobile Child Protection Team -10 highly qualified child protection workers, plus one Manager and one Administrative Officer; and
  • 13 Remote Aboriginal Family & Community Workers.

Protecting children and families and helping to build stronger and safer communities are key priorities, and fundamental to closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Background

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments have been working collaboratively to fund and deliver this package since September 2007.

As part of the Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory, Safe Places are designed to address the multifaceted nature of the disadvantage faced by Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.  The main purpose of the Safe Places is to provide a safe place for families to go when fleeing family violence.  Each Safe Place facility is either a women’s Safe House or a men’s Cooling-Off Place.

The Safe Place facilities have a number of other functions including:

  • group safety and well-being programs, which could include parenting programs, men’s healing and well-being programs, behaviour change programs, and cultural healing programs;
  • linkages with other local services and referrals to counselling, legal and support services; and
  • short term crisis accommodation followed up by family interventions based on a plan developed in the Safe House, with the family itself.

Safe Places have been built or refurbished in: Ngukurr, Lajamanu, Nguiu, Kalkarindji, Apatula, Peppimenarti, Hermannsberg, Maningrida, Ramingining, Yarralin, Ti-Tree, Pmara Jutunta, Yuendumu, Beswick, Angurugu, Alice Springs and Darwin.

In addition to providing Safe Places for families experiencing violence, the Family Support Package also aims to increase the capacity of the Northern Territory Government’s child protection workforce. The Australian Government has provided funding under this measure to the Northern Territory Government to continue to employ highly qualified child protection workers as part of a Mobile Child Protection Team.

Remote Aboriginal Family and Community Workers (RAFCWs) provide culturally appropriate liaison and referrals between the child protection system, services and Indigenous families.  They also link people across a range of local services including police, night patrols, Safe Houses, women’s centres, health clinics, schools, youth centres and sexual assault referral centres.

Implementation

Implementation commenced in September 2007.

Total Government Funding

$32.9 million over the next three years

Content Updated: 25 June 2012