After more than a decade of milestones, Centacare’s Targeted Intervention Service (TIS) will end tomorrow to make way for the $20.7 million RESTORE Intensive Family Services, a new direction in early intervention and prevention for at-risk families.
Family Preservation (FP) will also wind up as Centacare prepares to deliver RESTORE in the north and south of Adelaide and Mount Gambier.
RESTORE will build on the work of TIS and FP in addressing child safety risk factors to improve family functioning and keep children out of care.
In looking to the future, Executive Manager of Children’s Services Leanne Haddad today celebrated the past, applauding both programs for progressing innovative, child-focused, and trauma-informed in-home supports for families and children.
“The work that Family Preservation and Targeted Intervention have done over many years has informed our new RESTORE model,” Leanne said.
“The work you have done with the families and the children, the voice that you created for families, the voice that you gave to children that didn’t have a voice, will live on in our new program.
“Thank you for your patience, hope and inspiring commitment to families. You work tirelessly, and you advocate every day.”
Targeted Intervention began in 2009 and for seven years operated within a partnership model with the Department for Child Protection (formerly Families SA).
In 2016, the service expanded referral pathways to target families recognised as requiring earlier intervention.
With ongoing development, TIS was a catalyst for change – adapting flexible service delivery over time and supporting professional growth across Children’s Services.
While some staff have used TIS as a launching pad, others have been part of the service long-term or for its duration.
Over the past 12 years, TIS has supported more than 1000 families and 2300 children across five sites, with more than $30 million in funding from four government departments under five contracts.
Under TIS, families with children aged 0 to 18 years where early child wellbeing and/or safety risk factors have been identified, were supported by a case manager, clinical nurse and a financial advocate.
“The team’s skills have evolved to meet the many changing and complex needs of the children and families we support who have taught us so much in return,’’ Manager Michelle Warner said.
“The flexibility we have had within the service scope, combined with the highly-skilled and passionate team – past and present – I believe, has allowed us to evolve and shape our service delivery to the target group over time.’’
Family Preservation began as part of the Reunification Service contract in 2013-2014.
As Centacare looked to expand its casework capacity to meet growing need, the team began to build, and in 2015-2016 the opportunity arose to restructure FP as a stand-alone support, separate from Reunification.
The FP model was redeveloped to parallel the successful TIS multi-disciplinary approach, incorporating the role of clinical nurse, and supporting 134 families between 2016 -2019.
FP was granted a one-year extension (2019-2020) after transitioning to the Department of Human Services, with a view to successfully supporting children to remain living safely with their families.
Since 2019-20, the service has supported 114 families and 276 children.
Manager Megan Jones highlighted the strong working relationship between FP and the Department for Child Protection, the program’s sole referral pathway, and its success in addressing complex child safety concerns.
“We have been able to collaborate and partner together to support families with the Department for Child Protection,’’ Megan said.
“Most recently, we’ve been able to expand our referral pathways with DCP’s multicultural team and adoption services, in support of families who have been struggling to manage.’’
“While we are celebrating the longevity and achievements of the Targeted Intervention and Family Preservation services and reflecting on the end of an area, we acknowledge that the innovation of both programs informed the new RESTORE Intensive Family Services program.
“Thankyou Targeted Intervention and Family Preservation for believing in individuals and supporting families to stay together.’’