The Stronger Families program, funded by the Department of Human Service and the Department for Child Protection helps families where there are concerns for the safety and wellbeing of children.
What the program offers
The goal of AFSS Stronger Families is to keep Aboriginal children safely at home with their families, within their community and culture, by enhancing family strengths; strengthening child development and attachment; and strengthening families to better cope with the day to day challenges they are facing.
The Stronger Families program is divided into two programs: Reunification and Intensive Family Service (IFS).
Families become involved with the Reunification program after the Department for Child Protection has removed children from their parent/family’s care due to concerns for their safety or wellbeing. DCP refers parents to the Reunification Service to address the issues that led to the removal and develop new skills and knowledge so that children can return to the family.
The Reunification Service works intensively with families to understand and address the Child Protection Concerns. AFSS understands that for many Aboriginal Families, contact with the child protection system is deeply worrying and often triggers long held trans-generational trauma. The AFSS team works in culturally responsive, family led, child centred and therapeutic ways to support parents to work though the issues that may have impacted their wellbeing, and the wellbeing and safety of their children. The aim of the program is to support parents to have their children returned safely to their care.
Only DCP can refer families to this program.
AFSS currently offers Reunification Services in the Adelaide Metropolitan area. Regionally AFSS provides this service in Ceduna, Coober Pedy, Port Augusta, Whyalla and Port Lincoln.
Intensive Family Service:
Families become involved with the AFSS Intensive Family Service when they are referred by services such as DCP, health, education and housing. These referrals are made via the Child and Families Support System Pathway’s Service, managed by DHS. Families that are at significant risk of entering the Child Protection System may be referred to the IFS to provide the family with support to address the concerns in order to prevent the need for ongoing DCP involvement.
The Stronger Families program aims for a strong cultural connection to family, community and culture. Our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of children. Wherever possible this care should be within families as culture and connection are vital to creating ongoing safety and wellbeing for Aboriginal children.
Whilst AFSS keeps in regular contact with the Department for Child Protection our day-to-day work is separate. Many families find that AFSS offers them a culturally safe environment, a relationship of trust and a team of caring and skilled workers who know how to create change. Our goal is for families to end their involvement with AFSS feeling happier, stronger and connected in their community, and with their children safely in their care.
IFS works intensively with families to develop their own Goals that will allow them to address the challenges they are facing. This program is culturally responsive, trauma informed and child centred.
The program provides services across a number of Local Government areas. These are Marion, Onkaparinga, Playford and Salisbury in the metro area. Regionally AFSS has IFS available in Ceduna, Port Lincoln, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Whyalla, Copper Coast, Coober Pedy, Murray Bridge, Berri, Barmera, Loxton and Renmark.
Want to find out more?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (08) 8205 1500 and ask for the Senior Manager, Therapeutic Services.