Aboriginal Family Support Services acknowledges the diversity of Aboriginal communities and ensures that all services are innovative, creative and healing-based.
Through strong leadership Aboriginal Family Support Services influences change in policies and service delivery in all areas of capacity building within Aboriginal families and communities.
We maintain that our Aboriginal heritage is beyond value and no child should be deprived of its richness.
Aboriginal Family Support Services Limited (AFSS) has been serving South Australian Aboriginal communities for 40 years. AFSS was established in 1978 as the SA Aboriginal Child Care Agency Forum Inc (ACCA), becoming Aboriginal Family Support Services (AFSS) in 1988 to reflect the broader range of family based programs offered by AFSS.
Our key role has always been to ensure that Aboriginal communities and organisations are involved in matters relating to child protection. Before 1978, Aboriginal children were often removed from their families and communities without either the consent of, or consultation with, birth or extended family members.
As an Aboriginal community based and community controlled organisation, ACCA’s key role was to redress these injustices and to provide support, assistance and advocacy to Aboriginal children, youth and their families.
In 1993, with the passing of the Children's Protection Act in the South Australian Parliament, legislation required that whenever The Department for Child Protection should become involved with Aboriginal child placement issues, they consult a recognised Aboriginal organisation (commonly known as a Gazetted organisation) before any decisions or Orders are made in relation to Aboriginal children.
AFSS is a Gazetted organisation and undertakes the vital role in ensuring that the importance of culture, country and connection for all Aboriginal people is adhered to in relation to child welfare and protection, as mandated in the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle.
AFSS has grown to become an organisation employing over 245 staff across 22 locations. Our offices are located in metropolitan Adelaide, Berri, Ceduna, Coober Pedy, Murray Bridge, Port Augusta and Port Lincoln. Core services include Family Based Foster Care and family reunification services (Stronger Families) which are offered in all regions, while other services are region-specific.
In all that we do, our focus is on working to ensure that Aboriginal children maintain their cultural links despite being separated from their parents and ensuring that wherever possible Aboriginal families are reunited.
The AFSS regional offices are able to provide details of the services that are available in the various regions of the State.
Want more information? Our Constitution is available here.
If you would like a copy of the rules of AFSS, please email us or call (08) 8205 1500.