Families Plus

Community Services considers that out-of-home care placements must be made only as a last resort, and is committed to working with families wherever possible to minimise the likelihood of such an event occurring. 

A substantial body of evidence shows that working intensively with families can help them to improve the conditions under which their children or young people live, and to improve parents’ ability to provide the best possible care for their children. Our province’s Child Protection framework operates under the principle that the least intrusive course must be followed in securing the best interests of children and young people.

Families Plus is Community Services’ highest-intensity early intervention program. Families referred to this program are involved in the child protection program with referrals made by the child protection agency.   Families Plus is designed to work with families in crisis, whose children are at imminent risk of removal and placement in out-of-home care. The intensive family preservation service uses a holistic approach to addressing families’ needs, and in so doing ensures that the best interests of children and young people are served. The service consists of a period of twelve weeks of intensive casework and 24-hour on call assistance, followed by a period of up to 40 weeks of continuous, multi-faceted and individually-tailored casework and assistance services.

Better Outcomes

The primary intended outcome of Families Plus, is that children at risk of significant harm and imminent risk of child protection services can stay at home with their family in a safe, stable and nurturing environment.

Other outcomes will depend on the goals identified for each child and their family and may include a combination of the following:

  • Improved family functioning including:
    • Increased social support for families
    • Improved parenting skills
    • Improved skills in problem solving, financial management/budgeting
    • Improved household living conditions
    • More sustainable household routines
    • Crisis situation stabilised
  • Maintain and strengthen family bonds and reduce family conflict
  • Independently access supports needed to effectively manage stressful or crisis situations
  • Reduction in risk of harm and safety concerns for the child
  • The needs of particular family members are recognised and addressed
  • Improved child safety and wellbeing