Family Referral Services (FRS)
What are Family Referral Services?
Family Referral Services (FRS) are a key initiative under the whole of Government Keep Them Safe Action Plan. These new services are implemented by NSW Health.
Family Referral Services assist children and young people who do not meet the statutory threshold for child protection intervention but would benefit from accessing support to address current problems and prevent escalation. FRS provide information and link vulnerable children young people and their families to a range of support services in their local areas.
FRS were piloted over 12 months from May 2010 to April 2011 with two types of service delivery model being trialled and evaluated: a telephone only service and an “augmented” face to face service with capacity to coordinate active referrals and use of brokerage funding to improve access to support.
The three services piloted are now continuing their operations beyond the pilot phase. Two additional new services are being implemented as of April 2011 and are expected to start operations on 6th June 2011.
Service delivery is guided by FRS Best Practice Standards which are being trialled until June 2012 and reviewed on a regular basis.
Formal protocols defining communication and referral processes have been developed and entered into by FRS and the Child Wellbeing Units operated by the NSW Police, the Departments of Health, of Education and Training, and of Human Justice.
A set of guidelines have been developed with FRS input to guide the referrals from Mandatory Reporters who do not access Child Wellbeing Units to FRS.
Referrals to and from FRS
Referrals to the FRS can be made by:
- staff from Government agencies (including mandatory reporters following advice from Child Wellbeing Units)
- the non government and private sector
- self referrals from children, young people and their families.
FRS may refer clients on, to services provided by non government organisations and by government agencies such as Health, Juvenile Justice, Housing, Ageing Disability and Home Care, Education and Communities.
FRS clients may be referred to services such as case management, home visiting, intensive family support, quality child care, housing, parenting education, supported play-group, drug and alcohol / mental health services, youth support services and respite care.
- Illawarra Family Referral Service (Barnardos Australia): Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, Shoalhaven and Wingecarribee LGAs.
Phone: 1800 663 863
- South Eastern and Northern Sydney Family Referral Service (Barnardos Australia in partnership with Centacare): South East Sydney: Ashfield, Botany Bay, Burwood, Canada Bay, Canterbury, Hurstville, Kogarah, Leichardt, Marrickville, Randwick, Rockdale, Strathfield, Sutherland Shire, Sydney, Waverly and Woollahra LGAs. Northern Sydney: Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Manly, Mosman, North Sydney, Pittwater, Ryde, Warringah and Willoughby LGAs.
Phone: 1800 066 757
- South West Sydney Family Referral Service (UnitingCare Burnside): Bankstown, Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Liverpool and Wollondilly LGAs.
Phone: 1300 244 826
- Western Sydney Family Referral Service (Relationships Australia NSW): Blacktown, Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains, Penrith, The Hills Shire, Holroyd, Parramatta and Auburn LGAs.
Phone: Call 1300 403 373
Rural & Regional NSW
- Far North Coast Family Referral Service (Northern Rivers Social Development Council in partnership with Interrelate Family Centres): Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley,and Tweed LGAs.
Phone: 1300 338 774
- Hunter Central Coast and Lithgow Family Referral Service (The Benevolent Society): Cessnock, Dungog, Gloucester, Gosford, Lake Macquarie, Lithgow, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Upper Hunter Shire and Wyong LGAs.
Phone: 1300 006 480
- Mid North Coast Family Referral Service (The Benevolent Society in partnership with Burrun Dalai Aboriginal Corporation): Greater Taree, Great Lakes, Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Hastings, Kempsey and Nambucca LGAs.
Phone: 1300 006 480
- New England North West Family Referral Service (Pathfinders): Armidale, Dumaresq, Glenn Inness Severn, Gunnedah, Guyra, Gwydir, Inverell, Liverpool Plains, Moree Plains, Narrabri, Tamworth Regional, Tenterfield, Uralla and Walcha LGAs.
Phone: 1800 597 589
- Riverina Murray Family Referral Service (Relationships Australia Canberra & Region in partnership with Mallee Family Care): Albury, Balranald, Berrigan, Bland, Carrathool, Conargo, Coolamon, Cootamundra, Corowa Shire, Deniliquin, Greater Hume Shire, Griffith, Gundagai, Hay, Jerilderie, Junee, Leeton, Lockhart, Murray, Murrumbidgee, Narrandera, Temora, Tumbarumba, Tumut Shire, Urana, Wagga Wagga, Wakool, and Wentworth LGAs.
Phone: 1300 307 897
- Southern NSW Family Referral Service (MacKillop Family Services in partnership with Marymead): Bega Valley, Bombala, Boorowa, Cooma-Monaro, Eurobodalla, Goulburn Mulwaree, Harden, Oberon, Palerang, Queanbeyan, Snowy River, Upper Lachlan, Weddin, Yass Valley and Young LGAs.
Phone: 1300 736 384
- Western NSW Family Referral Service (Uniting Care Burnside): Bathurst, Blayney, Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Cabonne, Central Darling, Cobar, Coonamble, Cowra, Dubbo, Forbes, Gilgandra, Lachlan, Mid Western Council, Narromine, Orange, Parkes, Walgett, Warren, Warrumbungle Shire and Wellington LGAs as well as NSW Unincorporated.
Phone: 1300 339 016
Contact information for other services
Databases such as the Human Services Network (HSNET) ServiceLink www.hsnet.nsw.gov.au, may be used for details of services available within the local community.
Contact Details for child protection and wellbeing services.