Intensive Family Based Services
Intensive Family Based Services (IFBS) work with Aboriginal children, young people and families where those children and young people are at risk of entering the Out-of-Home Care (OOHC) system (Crisis/Preservation stream).
IFBS programs also work with families whose children are currently in OOHC where restoration is being planned (Restoration/Reunification stream) and with children or young people in OOHC who are at risk of their placement breaking down (Placement Support stream).
The overarching goal of IFBS programs is to reduce the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children and young people in OOHC and to assist with stability issues for Aboriginal children and young people who may remain in the OOHC system.
The IFBS approach was originally developed as the highest level of intervention (within a continuum of early intervention and placement preservation services) designed to work with Aboriginal children, young people and their families who are at risk of entering OOHC.
The IFBS intervention model is based on the Homebuilders® approach developed by the Institute for Family Development (IFD) in the US. Homebuilders is an evidence-based intensive family preservation model which is utilised by IFBS when working with Aboriginal families referred for services.
IFBS will work intensively with accepted families for 12 weeks in Preservation and Placement Support matters. For Restoration matters this is extended to 16 weeks to allow for a four week lead in period prior to the children coming back into the home. Some IFBS programs also have a ‘Step-down’ facility that allow them to continue work with families past the 12/16 week period to embed positive changes made by families.
Due to the intense nature of the work with families under IFBS, Caseworker caseloads are capped at two families per Caseworker. Caseworkers may spend up to 20 hours a week in the home with each family.
IFBS programs aim to improve family functioning to a point where safety or significant risk is no longer an immediate concern for the family’s children and subsequently the children can remain living at home with their families.
All referrals to IFBS are from a Community Service Centre (CSC) and families that are referred to an IFBS program need to be, and remain, ‘Open and Allocated’ at a CSC.
Referral to the IFBS programs is initially via direct contact with the IFBS Manager to determine their current vacancies and suitability of the family for referral.
The IFBS programs are delivered by Aboriginal Community Controlled organisations or Communities and Justice (DCJ) specific units. All Caseworkers in the IFBS programs are Aboriginal.
There are currently seven IFBS programs in NSW that are funded by DCJ. These programs aim to service 166 families per year.
IFBS programs are delivered in the following Districts – Hunter & Central Coast (Tuggerah, Broadmeadow), Mid North Coast, Northern NSW & New England (Casino, Grafton, Kempsey and Moree) and Murrumbidgee, Far West & Western NSW (Wagga Wagga).
Service name and location
NGO or DCJ
Bamba-Baa IFBS - Moree
Bulgarr Ngaru IFBS - Grafton
Bungree IFBS - Tuggerah
Burrun Dalai IFBS - Kempsey
Malanee Bugilmah – Casino
Maroonbaliin - Broadmeadow
Ngangaagi IFBS – Wagga Wagga