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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.

Learn about the key differences between Family Connect and Support and Family Referral Service.

What's changing?

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

Area

Uniting (NSW.ACT)

Western NSW, Far West and South West Sydney

Save the Children Australia

Murrumbidgee

South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation

Illawarra Shoalhaven

The Benevolent Society

Hunter, Central Coast and New England

Barnardos Australia

Western Sydney, Nepean Blue Mountains, Sydney and South East Sydney

Barnardos Australia in partnership with CatholicCare Diocese of Broken Bay

Northern Sydney

Social Futures

Northern NSW

Social Futures in partnership with Pathfinders Ltd

Mid North Coast

Mackillop Family Services in partnership with Marymead

Southern NSW

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.

More information

For more information, read our Frequently Asked Questions. You can email us at FamilyConnectandSupport@dcj.nsw.gov.au as well.

This webpage will be updated regularly.

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Last updated: 18 Nov 2020