The Intensive Family Support Services (IFSS) is a key part of the Australian Government’s investment in targeted services to support vulnerable children and their families living in the Northern Territory (NT) and the communities of Amata and Pukatja (formerly Ernabella) in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunyatjatjara (APY) Lands of South Australia (SA). IFSS was funded in response to the findings of the 2010 Board of Inquiry into the Child Protection System 'Growing them strong, together' report.
IFSS is available to Indigenous and non-Indigenous families with children aged 0-12 years of age, where neglect has been identified by the state or territory child protection authority. IFSS is a free service that provides intensive support in the home and community, to help improve children’s health, safety and wellbeing. The referral pathway to the IFSS program is through the child protection authority.
IFSS is delivered by non-government organisations. Trained staff work with families for up to 12 months to ensure children:
The IFSS Implementation Capacity Support Service provided by the Parenting Research Centre (PRC) involves developing the IFSS practice model, providing training, coaching and resources for IFSS practitioners, and evaluating the program. PRC is working closely with partner IFSS providers to develop the practice model and implement the program, including Good Beginnings, Save the Children, Anyinginyi Aboriginal Health Corporation, and Sunrise Health.
IFSS and the IFSS Implementation Capacity Support Service are funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS).