Central Coast parents are now benefitting from a new program providing improved early intervention support and practical assistance to help prevent family issues from escalating.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said the new Family Connect and Support program would be delivered by The Benevolent Society to the region.
“This program offers a single point of contact with which families can engage, offering a range of practical assistance, advice and information that can help them break the cycle of disadvantage and provide a safe home for children,” Mr Crouch said.
“Experience shows that when families are provided with the support they need at the earliest possible time, we can more appropriately address any issues and help keep families together.”
The Family Connect and Support program involves increased outreach to schools and hospitals, with a focus on Aboriginal families, families with children aged zero to five, and children and young people affected by mental illness.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the program aligns with the NSW Government’s commitment to reduce the number of children and young people entering out-of-home care.
“The new program streamlines existing services and support with the aim helping families to build better relationships, improve general health and wellbeing, and live independently in secure housing,” Mr Ward said.
The Benevolent Society’s Manager of Child, Youth & Family Services Melissa Brown said bushfires, floods and COVID-19 had added to the complexity of family life.
“Family Connect and Support has been modelled on the Family Referral Service, which we delivered to the Central Coast for 12 years,” Ms Brown said.
“We are excited about bringing new elements of support to families on the Coast via the new program. This includes Family Group Conferencing, which brings family members together with one of our impartial facilitators to decide and plan for the safety and wellbeing of their children.
“We focus on early intervention, providing support as soon as challenges are presenting to stop them from escalating to crisis point. We encourage families needing extra support to call our experienced team to access the support and assistance they need.”
For more information, go to: www.facs.nsw.gov.au/families/support-programs/all-families/family-connect-and-support.