Children and Family Intensive Support (CaFIS)

Children and Family Intensive Support (CaFIS) supports families living in selected communities in the Northern Territory (NT) and Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia so that these children are growing up strong in families and communities that are safe and nurturing.

CaFIS was developed in response to the recommendations of the Productivity Commission in its 2020 report Expenditure on Children in the Northern Territory and an evaluation of the previous Intensive Family Support Service (IFSS) conducted in 2019. The Australian and Northern Territory Governments worked together to align CaFIS with similar services provided by the Northern Territory Government, reduce service coverage duplication and enhance coordination between services.

CaFIS provides services to families and communities to care for children in their culture. It supports parents and family members to develop their confidence and capability to bring children up strong. CaFIS works with families to access services they need and to address areas of concern that impact on children’s safety and wellbeing.

Who benefits from CaFIS?

CaFIS provides support to children or young people aged 0-18 years and their families.

How is CaFIS delivered?

CaFIS providers offer evidence-informed, locally adapted, trauma-informed and culturally appropriate services tailored to meet the individual needs of children and their families.

CaFIS acknowledges that the broad concept of parenting and caring includes extended families and kinship systems and respects Indigenous concepts of childhood, family and community whilst focussing on the best interests of the child.

Operational Guidelines

CaFIS Operational Guidelines are a guide for CaFIS providers to deliver the program in their selected locations. The guidelines are available here:

Activity Work Plans

CaFIS providers are required to have an Activity Work Plan (AWP). The AWP template is available here:

CaFIS documents

Resources for providers

A set of capacity-building tools are available for CaFIS providers. These tools are available to help CaFIS providers embed good practice into the way the service is delivered. The resources are available here:

CaFIS newsletter

The CaFIS newsletter highlights important news, information and good news stories for service providers delivering CaFIS.

Evaluation of IFSS

The Department of Social Services engaged Social Compass to undertake an independent evaluation of IFSS.

The evaluation and the Productivity Commission 2020 Report into the Expenditure on Children in the Northern Territory helped inform the development of CaFIS.

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