Families Accessing Services through the Child and Family Centres
The number of ACT families accessing coordinated locally-based services through the Child and Family Centres (CFC). Families typically access a range of services and supports from the CFCs, one family may access a number of services but for this indicator are only counted once. The number of families counted does not include all families accessing large community events such as the â€˜Kids and Families' school holiday program, the National Multicultural Festival 'Children's Sanctuary' and large community events that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
What do we measure?
The number of families accessing a range of early intervention and prevention services offered by the CFCs either at Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen or via outreach in homes, schools and the community. This measure includes families accessing a range of parenting assistance groups as well as individual case management.
Why is this important?
All families, during the early years of their child's development require access to a range of services to meet their child's health, wellbeing, learning and development needs. Early intervention and prevention services are provided to ensure that all families are supported to assist their child reach their full potential. The CFCs provide integrated service delivery, with child and family support services provided alongside other services including ACT Health's maternal and child health services, midwifery services, nutrition services. The CDS and other child and family support community organisations also provide services out of the centres. Together, the services provide support and advice on child health, development and parenting issues, immunisations, growth and care of babies, speech and physiotherapy drop-in services with links to early childhood education and care sector, supportive counselling and case coordination for vulnerable families.
The data provided in the publication indicates that service usage across the three CFCs has remained steady over the ten-year period. During this period the centres have strengthened their focus on engaging with more vulnerable and complex families from a targeted early intervention model. This allows the CFCs to vary the intensity of the support to best meet the individual needs of families. Retaining a universal platform means the centres have the capacity and flexibility to transition to more targeted and intensive support of families, where needed. They also have a strengthened focus on working collaboratively with local agencies creating place-based approaches that respond well to local area need. Policy considerations in relation to this indicator confirm the need for a continued focus on early intervention and prevention services. The ongoing engagement with community is vital so that the service offer can be refined to ensure centres have the capacity to respond to local area needs as they emerge.
How is the ACT Progressing?
Source: Non-published administrative data.
Note Only families with ACT address are counted. All service activities provided by CFC staff with a start date in the period are extracted and filtered to exclude client satisfaction surveys. The data is sorted by address, by client id, by event start date and a formula applied to count each unique address as one family. A lookup formula is then applied to the address at event start date to confirm if they were an ACT resident at the time of the service.
The data in Figure 38 has been refined to better reflect the comprehensive service offer through the three centres and is therefore not comparable to previous A Picture of ACT Children and Young People's publications.