Family and Children’s Services

Family and Children’s Services aim to improve family functioning, and child wellbeing by providing early intervention and prevention services to families to assist with family formation, prevent family breakdown, enhance family functioning and support parents to care for their children. Family and Children’s Services are delivered under the following activity types:

  • Communities for Children Services provide prevention and early intervention services to families with children up to the age of 12.
  • Community Playgroups support parents with children aged zero to five.
  • Family and Relationship Services are primarily ad hoc or whole of family focussed early intervention and prevention services providing assistance with family relationship issues at all stages (including Family Law Counselling), education and broader parenting support, especially at times of transition.
  • Specialist Services provide support to vulnerable families affected by issues such as drugs, violence and trauma. They consist of:
    • Specialised Family Violence Services (SFVS);
    • Kids in Focus – Family Drug Support; and
    • Family Relationship Services for Humanitarian Entrants.
  • Royal Commission Community-based Support Services provide support to people affected by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Find & Connect support services provide information, support and counselling to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.
  • Intensive Family Support Services is a family support service which provides the most vulnerable families access to evidence-based, intensive parenting support in their homes and communities and assists the development of parenting skills that improve the safety, health, education and wellbeing of their children.

Communities for Children

What are Communities for Children?

Communities for Children provide services to ensure children have the best start in life by focussing on prevention and early intervention approaches that bring about positive family functioning, safety and child development outcomes for children and their families in disadvantaged communities throughout Australia.

The following activities are delivered under Communities for Children:

  • Communities for Children Facilitating Partner Services - develop and facilitate a whole of community approach to support and strengthen local service networks that contribute to child safety.
  • Communities for Children Direct Services - provide activities directly to individual services to deliver early intervention and prevention family support, tailored to the needs of the local community. Services are family focused and child centred, focusing on children 0-12 years and for some services, adolescents up to 18 years of age.

Who will benefit from Communities for Children Activities?

Communities for Children are aimed at increasing child safety and wellbeing, by addressing known risk factors that impact on the parenting capacity of families, parents, grandparent carers and other carers. Services support the well being of children by building strong parenting skills and stronger and more sustainable families and communities.

How are Communities for Children delivered?

Communities for Children Facilitating Partners fund other organisations to provide services including parenting support; group peer support for children, families or carers; case management; home visiting services; and other supports to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Communities for Children Direct Services may include parenting support, family and peer support for children and family members including grandparent carers, facilitated playgroups, case management and home visiting services.

To search for a service provider in your area go to the Family Relationships Online website.

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Family and Relationship Services

What are Family and Relationship Services?

Family and Relationship Services provide services to vulnerable and disadvantaged families and children by providing assistance with adult relationships, counselling for children, education and broader parenting support.

Who will benefit from Family and Relationship Services?

Family and Relationship Services assist people with relationship difficulties to better manage the personal or interpersonal issues to do with children and family during marriage, separation and divorce.

Specialist Services

What are Specialist Services?

Specialist Services are delivered by providers with expert skills and knowledge in the provision of support to vulnerable individuals and families affected by particular issues such as natural disaster, drugs, violence and trauma.

Specialist Services consists of the following three activities:

  • Specialised Family Violence Services (SFVS) - assist clients and their families to achieve and maintain positive family relationships, supporting the safety of all individuals affected by family violence. Clients and families can access:
    • Kids in Focus – Family Drug Support (KIF) - services aim to improve outcomes for children in families with substance misuse problems by providing integrated, long term and intensive support to vulnerable and disadvantaged families and children.
    • Family Relationship Services for Humanitarian Entrants (FRSHE)- services address the needs of individuals and families entering Australia under the Humanitarian Entrants Program. The service assist clients to learn a new way of life while sustaining their culture and beliefs. Services help clients understand different values and customs, and the roles family members may have in their new country.

Who will benefit from Specialist Services?

Specialised Family Violence Services and Kids in Focus - Family Drug Support services are available to communities, families and clients who are experiencing high and complex needs (such as mental health, drug and alcohol issues, and family violence) and require more intensive support.

Family Relationship Services for Humanitarian Entrants services are provided to families who have entered Australia under the Humanitarian Entry Program. Services are available to adults, young people, parents and their children.

How are Specialist Services delivered?

Specialist Services are delivered through support groups, counselling, education and training.

To search for a service provider in your area go to the Family Relationships Online website.

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Community Playgroups

What are Community Playgroups?

Community Playgroups are informal gatherings for parents and caregivers with children under school age that provide an ideal place for children to learn and develop through play. Playgroups meet regularly (generally once a week for two hours during school terms). They can be held anywhere that is safe for children and where groups can meet.

Who will benefit from Community Playgroups?

Parents and caregivers attend the Playgroup to interact with other adults and play with the children. Children can choose from a range of activities set up to advance early learning and meet the varying developmental needs. Parents and caregivers can benefit from playgroups though social interaction, sharing experiences, learning new parenting skills and building networks with their wider community.

Community Playgroups provide an opportunity for parents and caregivers to develop social and support networks to assist with effective parenting skills, confidence and self-esteem. Playgroups also provide an opportunity for children to learn through play and develop their social, emotional, cognitive and physical skills.

Community Playgroups provide children under school age and their families and caregivers with access to a regular quality playgroup experience. The intent of support offered as part of the Playgroup experience differs depending on a range of individual and community circumstances.

How are Community Playgroups delivered?

Community Playgroups are initiated and self-managed by parents and/or caregivers who attend the playgroup. State or Territory Playgroup Associations provide advice and resources to self-managed Community Playgroups about developmentally appropriate learning activities. They also assist people to start their own playgroups or to find a playgroup that meets their needs and, where necessary, assist playgroups to resolve conflicts and disputes.

Related Information

For more information visit the Playgroup Australia website or call 1800 171 882 .

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