Family and Services Facilitator Project

The Family and Services Facilitator project supports the creation of ongoing structures to ensure that the voices of families and children are heard, and included, in the design of local early years service models.  C4C have partnered with Noah’s Ark to develop ongoing  processes for consultation with families and children about their needs/ideas for the delivery of early years services and family support services in Bendigo.

Aims of Project

  • To ensure that families and children have a voice in the development and implementation of early years services.
  • To build ongoing structures and processes for the input by and consultation with families and children.
  • To build the practice and processes for ‘warm referral’ processes in the early years sector.
  • To work with early years services in building responses to the needs of parents with a focus on their role in building parenting skills and capacity.

Rationale for Project

Over the past 12 months agencies involved in C4C have identified that:

  • Some children and their families who may benefit from early intervention services are missing out because either they are not being identified at an early stage or have been identified but have not been able to access the required supports.
  • Families who are experiencing challenges in relation to parenting and/or concerned about their children’s wellbeing and emotional development often express frustration in accessing supports.
  • Services seeking support for families often have difficulty navigating the service system particularly where the needs of families don’t meet current service criteria.

In response to these issues C4C has developed a proposal for the implementation of a “No Wrong Door’ model across the early years sector. A key component of the ‘No Wrong Door’ model is the development of a ‘warm referral’ practice and processes. Building ‘warm referral’ practice and processes will help enable the issues of access to services by families to be addressed.

Linked to the building of a ‘warm referral’ practice is the development of common approaches to working with and engaging families across universal, secondary and tertiary services. Our ability to engage with and ‘hold’ families by all services and programs within the early years has been identified by C4C partners as a key issue to address. Universal service providers can and do play a key role in supporting children and families and in building parenting skills and capacities in addition to the role of specialist secondary and tertiary services. Building common practices and approaches across universal, secondary and tertiary services to engaging and working with families is crucial to building an integrated approach to supporting families.

Currently there are no ongoing structures and processes for consultation with families and children about their needs and their ideas for the delivery of early years services and family support services. Family and children’s involvement in the design of and feedback about service models is critical to ensuring that services and planning structures are responsive to the needs of families and children. The Family and Services Facilitator project will support the creation of ongoing structures to ensure the voice of families and children are heard.

Project Outcomes

  • Development of ongoing structures and processes for consultation with families and children.
  • Development of ‘warm referral’ processes and practice.
  • Build common practice approaches across universal, secondary and tertiary services in engaging with and supporting families.

Project Actions

  • Work with early years services and programs including targeted family support services providers to review current approaches to engaging and working with vulnerable families.
  • Support the development of ‘warm referral’ practice guidelines and processes across the early years sector.
  • Arrange practice workshops and conversation circles across the early years sector with a focus on family engagement.
  • Conduct an initial consultation with families and children with a view to gain feedback on the current delivery of services for families and for the development of ongoing family consultation processes.
  • In conjunction with C4C Facilitating Partner develop a model for family and children’s consultation that can be presented to the 1st Quarter Early Years Co-ordination Group for endorsement and implementation.

For more information, please contact:

Jane Hosking
Noah’s Ark
Communities for Children Project Worker
e: Jane.Hosking@noahsarkinc.org.au
p: 03 5407 1520

Loretta Kingston-Brown
Noah’s Ark
Early Childhood Intervention Professional
e: Loretta.Kingston-Brown@noahsarkinc.org.au
p: 03 5407 1520

John Bonnice
Communities for Children Manager
e: john.bonnice@anglicarevic.org.au

p: 03 54 30 1200