Understanding roles and responsibilities in the sector
Child wellbeing and safety is everyone’s responsibility, which means everyone works together to keep children safe and well.
Types of services provided by non-government organisations and other agencies
Services for families, children and young people
From 1 January 2021, Family Connect and Support (FCS) will be available to children and their families experiencing or at risk of experiencing vulnerability in NSW. Primarily FCS is a service for families with identified concerns that fall below the threshold of statutory child protection intervention. It includes a range of services, such as: comprehensive assessment, active outreach and short term case planning and coordination. FCS provides an entry point or connection into the service system for families who may be experiencing vulnerabilities or who are requiring some level of support before issues escalate.
A continuum of services is available for families to address current vulnerabilities, prevent escalation and foster a protective and nurturing environment. A list of services, support and information about DCJ funded programs for families is available here: Programs, Services and Support for Families.
Parent Line is a free telephone counselling and support service for parents and carers with children aged 0 to 18 who live in NSW.
Specialist Homelessness Services
Specialist homelessness services provide support to people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness. They offer a range of interventions including accommodation, case management, advocacy and living skills development. See homelessness programs for more information on services across NSW.
Advocacy and representative organisations
Advocacy and representative organisations provide an avenue for certain groups in the community to have their views and opinions heard in decisions that affect them. Some groups focus on individual advocacy, while others undertake peak body functions to represent the interests of their target communities at the systemic level. For example, Create Foundation is the national body representing the voices of children with an OOHC experience, and AbSec is the NSW Child, Family and Community Peak Aboriginal Corporation.
Services for people with disability
All NSW government agencies are responsible for inclusive service provision as core business. Ensuring people with disability have access to all government services will contribute to effective systemic responses when multiple vulnerabilities are involved. Services which provide targeted support to children with a disability and their networks include:
- National Disability Insurance Scheme – children with disability aged under 7 years can receive support via Early Childhood - Early Intervention services funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency.
- Raising Children Network (Australia) is a website available to all Australian parents and carers providing up-to-date, evidence-based, scientifically validated information about raising children, including children with a disability.
- National Carer Gateway and Carers NSW. These services provide support, advice, access to counselling, financial services, respite and coaching for carers, including carers of children with disability.
- Young carers can also access supports at Young Carers NSW.
- People caring for children with a disability who are also from a different language and cultural background can find support through the Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW.
Services for Aboriginal families
A range of services, supports and DCJ funded programs available to Aboriginal families including websites and phone numbers are available at Services, support and programs for Aboriginal families.
Services for families experiencing domestic and family violence
Information, services and supports for families experiencing domestic and family violence. Key services include:
- Domestic Violence Line a 24 hour hotline providing immediate information to assist in keeping safe.
- 1800 Respect provides home and online counselling for women experiencing violence and information on keeping children safe.
- Men's behaviour change program enables men using violence to recognise their violent behaviour and develop strategies to prevent violence from occurring in the future.
- Men’s Line Australia provides a counselling service to men experiencing challenges with relationships and fatherhood.
Services for children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
Supports and DCJ funded programs available to children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are available at support contacts for families with CALD backgrounds.
Settlement Services International (SSI) is a community-based not-for-profit organisation providing a range of services in the areas of humanitarian settlement, multicultural child and family support, disability support, and employment services in NSW. SSI offers culturally responsive training to support children and families, including:
- multicultural care planning
- working with interpreters
- fundamentals of culturally responsive practice.
Further information is available here https://www.ssi.org.au/services/ssi-training.
Mental health services and support
For mental health programs for children and young people, parents, adults and older people visit mental health services and support.