Families with children at imminent risk of entering care will be supported to stay together and flourish in an innovative early intervention service announced by the Department of Human Services.
RESTORE Intensive Family Services will operate in the north and south of Adelaide, and Mount Gambier, with a focus on strengthening parenting capacity to improve family functioning and child safety.
Centacare will deliver the $20.7 million service over 4.25 years to address complex challenges and reduce incidents of child abuse in families of children aged 0 to 18 years.
Common child safety risk factors include parental mental health, domestic and family violence, drug and or alcohol misuse, homelessness, financial stress and intergenerational trauma.
Under RESTORE, families will receive intensive six-month in-home and community-based supports.
Priority will be given to children of young parents aged 25 years or less, Aboriginal families, adolescents with complex trauma histories, and families of infants at high risk.
Clients will be referred via the DHS Child and Family Support Services Triage Line and DHS Child and Family Safety Pathway Hub, which is currently being established.
Supports include a senior practitioner, case manager, clinical nurse, financial advocate, Aboriginal engagement worker, and a dads and fatherhood worker.
RESTORE is an evidence-informed model that promotes strengthening and restoring parental capacity to improve family functioning. The service will connect family to natural supports and other help to create a holistic support network.
Executive Manager of Children’s Services Leanne Haddad said RESTORE would build on the work of Centacare’s Targeted Intervention and Family Preservation services, which end on March 31.
Collectively, the services supported an average of 550 clients annually over 10 years.
“While the Family Preservation and Targeted Intervention services will end this month, the practice wisdom and voices of the families we worked with inform part of the new service,’’ Leanne said.
“The families we will be working with have often disengaged from primary and secondary services. RESTORE will engage and walk alongside families to bring services to their homes and build resilience in communities.’’
Director Sarah McRae said RESTORE would give Centacare a vital presence in the northern and southern regions.
“The RESTORE service will lead to a new Centacare site opening in the south in the coming months in what is a vital boost for families who need specialist support to address complex challenges,’’ she said.
For more information about RESTORE, please phone Centacare on 8159 1400.