Family Connect and Support
On 1 January 2021, the well-known Family Referral Service, managed by NSW Health, will transfer to the Department of Communities and Justice. It will be called Family Connect and Support.
Just like the Family Referral Service, the new Family Connect and Support brings together families, support services and community resources so that our children and young people are safe and well. Universal and flexibly tailored to a families individual needs, Family Connect and Support offers help as early as possible.
While there will be some changes, lots of service features remain the same. For example, how referrals are made and the quick turnaround on referral requests.
The new Family Connect and Support streamlines access for families, referrers and service providers, providing consistency across the state, while also maintaining local-level flexibility and innovation.
It builds on the great features in Family Referral Service, and has been enhanced to include program-wide features such as:
- Family Group Conferencing
- increased outreach into universal settings
- targeted service delivery
- planning to priority populations (Aboriginal families, families with children aged 0–5 years, and children and young people affected by mental illness)
- increased support to families
- service responses tailored to family need.
There will be some change to the geographical boundaries to align with DCJ districts and some service providers will be different in some areas. These are the service providers and the geographical area they will service:
Name of FCS Service Provider/Partnership
Western NSW, Far West and South West Sydney
Save the Children Australia
South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation
The Benevolent Society
Hunter, Central Coast and New England
Western Sydney, Nepean Blue Mountains, Sydney and South East Sydney
Barnardos Australia in partnership with CatholicCare Diocese of Broken Bay
Social Futures in partnership with Pathfinders Ltd
Mid North Coast
Mackillop Family Services in partnership with Marymead
These service providers were chosen through a rigorous cross-agency open tender process.
What you need to do
For now, you can continue to make referrals through the Family Referral Service website or through your regular referral pathways.
We are working closely with NSW Health and service providers to ensure a smooth transition for families and people who refer families come 1 January 2021.
This webpage will be updated regularly.