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Referring to prevention and early intervention services

After determining the appropriateness of a prevention and early intervention referral for a particular family, there are a number of avenues for guidance and assistance with how to engage with appropriate services available in the local area.

As identified, most prevention and early intervention services have specific eligibility criteria. They can also have particular referral pathways.

In these instances the family may have to be assessed to determine eligibility. Avenues for finding out more about suitable services, together with the eligibility criteria and referral pathways include the following:

  • Existing referral networks Your organisation may already be actively involved with the local service network and have effective links with a range of local services. If you are not already aware of this, talk to colleagues and/or your supervisor who can be a good source of information regarding local services that are regularly used by your organisation.
  • Child Wellbeing Units The Departments of Family and Community Services, Education and Communities, NSW Health, and NSW Police each operate Child Wellbeing Units (CWU) who may be contacted by their staff around the State about referral options and pathways for prevention and early intervention matters or to discuss and record child wellbeing and child protection concerns.
  • The NSW Human Services Network (HSNet) is whole-of-government initiative established to support government and non-government organisations in the human services sector to deliver services in a coordinated and effective way. HSNet provides a central location for sharing information and is a key tool for finding appropriate prevention and early intervention services and programs.
    HSNet augments local referral networks and enables members to easily locate health, housing, family, legal and community service information locally and across NSW, exchange information and make referrals securely. Membership of HSNet is free and open to all working in the human services sector.
    Specific training in how to use HSNet, including searching for services, sending and receiving eReferrals is available. More information about these services is available from HSNet.
  • Family Referral Services (FRS) are intended to link vulnerable children, young people and their families who are in need of assistance with the most appropriate, available local support services.
    FRS have been established at three pilot sites in Dubbo, Newcastle and Mt Druitt with two more (Tamworth and Wollongong) being established in mid 2011. Two service models are being piloted: a telephone-only service and an augmented service, which includes telephone and face to face intervention.
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