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Family and Community Services (FACS) believes that the best place for a child is in their family home. Parents may need help to work out the best care for their child. Asking for help can be a hard but important step in doing this. Most families can get help to cope with difficulties while the children remain at home.

Sometimes children spend time away as part of a plan to help them and their family. They can go home when the family issues are addressed. You may have bad memories of things that happened to you as a child, or to others that you know. Thinking about these things may make you extra worried about what could happen to your children if you ask for help.

The best way to keep a family together

An important thing to think about is what will happen if you don’t seek help when you feel you or your children need it. Getting help early is the best way to keep your family together.

If the child or young person in your care has been reported to FACS, we can put you in touch with a counselling service to give you support.

You may also be referred to other services for help such as your local family support agency, a community health centre or other government departments such as Housing or Centrelink.

Programs and services

There are a number of programs and services that FACS funds including:

  • Intensive Family Preservation program - the service is based on the understanding that it’s in the child’s best interests to remain in the care of their family if it’s a safe option, focussing on teaching families problem-solving skills to prevent unnecessary placement in out of home care.
  • Aboriginal Child and Family Centres - there are 9 centres in NSW that provide culturally safe services and supports for Aboriginal children, aged 0 to 8, and their families
  • Brighter Futures program - supports families who are vulnerable to domestic and family violence, problematic use of alcohol or other drugs, mental health issues, learning or intellectual disabilities, and lack of parenting skills
  • Integrated Domestic and Family Violence Program - aims to prevent further domestic and family violence especially when children are involved
  • Specialist Homelessness Services - services that support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • Staying Home Leaving Violence -  supports victims of domestic and family violence by promoting housing stability and focusing on preventing homelessness

See the full list of FACS' funded programs.

Legal help

If FACS or a non-government organisation are talking to you about the safety and wellbeing of your children, you can get free legal advice to understand what’s going on and what you need to do.

A range of free legal services are operated across NSW by different organisations including Legal Aid NSW, Community Legal Centres and the Aboriginal Legal Service.

  • To find the service that is best for you call 1800 551 589
  • If you need an interpreter call the Telephone Interpreter Service 131 450
  • If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, you can contact a free legal service through the National Relay Service (NRS) 1800 555 660 or relayservice.gov.au or National Relay Service (Speak and Listen) 1300 555 727

More legal information and contact numbers in Legal matters and in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way you are treated by FACS staff, or not satisfied with the way we are working with you and the child or young person in your care, see complaints and feedback.

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