New services to better support vulnerable families in Queensland

11 November 2014





Act for Kids will expand its services across Queensland after being awarded recurrent funding by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, as part of the Queensland Government’s Stronger Families initiative.

From January 2015, a new community-based intake and referral service known as Family and Child Connect, will be rolled out across Queensland to provide better support to families who are at risk of entering or re-entering the child protection system.

Act for Kids has successfully tendered to provide support and assistance to vulnerable families on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast including Gympie, under Family and Child Connect.

Family and Child Connect will also be supported by new Intensive Family Support services, helping families address any issues that might be compromising the safety and wellbeing of their children. Act for Kids has been selected to operate the new Intensive Family Support services in Townsville, Toowoomba and Roma.

The funding will increase the charity’s capacity to deliver additional services to children and families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Through Family and Child Connect, Act for Kids will assist approximately 3,500 families per year by responding to enquiries and providing referrals for support, and will provide support to 460 families per year through the Intensive Family Support services.

Dr Katrina Lines, Executive Director of Programs, Research and Education at Act for Kids, said Act for Kids has provided significant input into the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, and continues to work closely with the government to shape the new child and family support system.

“Family and Child Connect will mean families at risk of statutory child protection intervention will no longer need to go through the door of Child Safety to get the help that they need. Service providers will be able to work together more effectively through the new Family and Child Connect.

“It’s important that parents feel they can ask for help. Sometimes parents don’t know where to go for support or are afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Family and Child Connect will provide better access and help families avoid a path of stress, reaction and potential child abuse and neglect,” Dr Katrina Lines said.

Act for Kids CEO, Dr Neil Carrington, said the new services will help parents develop skills to better care for their children and reduce the number of children entering out-of-home care.

“We know the level of support needed for families in these regions, so the real benefit of the additional funding will be our capacity to increase service provision to more children and families.

“We will be employing 58 new staff, so we will have a team of more than 200 dedicated professionals providing the highest level of support to help vulnerable families become stronger,” Dr Carrington said.

We are looking for suitably qualified, experienced and motivated people to join our team. Visit our careers page for a full list of vacancies: https://www.actforkids.com.au/careers.html

About Act for Kids

Act for Kids is one of the most prominent providers of free professional therapy to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. With 14 centres from South Australia to the Cape York Peninsula, Act for Kids has supported thousands of children and their families throughout Queensland for more than 26 years. In 2013-2014 we helped 14,500 Australians, representing a 24 per cent increase from 2012-2013.