SA Government invests $35.7 million to boost intensive family services
The Sector > Policy > SA Government invests $35.7 million to boost intensive family services

SA Government invests $35.7 million to boost intensive family services

by Freya Lucas

May 18, 2023

The South Australian Government will invest $35.7 million to boost intensive family services to support early intervention with vulnerable and at-risk families to improve the likelihood of keeping children and parents together.


The new funding is an important part of the Government’s response to the child protection system review recommendations made by Mal Hyde and Kate Alexander. The recommendations included rebalancing and providing a more responsive system to work with at-risk families sooner and boosting efforts to repsond to concerns about child safety and wellbeing.


“We know we need to turn things around and are investing to improve the lives of children and parents across South Australia,” said SA Human Services Minister Nat Cook.


“Parenting is challenging and some families need extra support. We want to keep families together and we know that one way of doing that is by investing in early intervention,” she continued.

“If we can address issues before they become seriously insurmountable, requiring children to be removed, that’s a far better outcome.”


The focus of the funding, Ms Cook said, is on ensuring that more families receive services to stay safely together through targeted, specialised interventions led by the Department of Human Services (DHS).

Intensive family support programs will focus on improving parenting skills, household management, service access and school attendance, as well as offering other practical backup such as financial assistance and transport.

It is expected this intensive family service initiative will support around 250 additional families a year from 2024. This focus on early years investment aims to prevent the high cost of out of home care and increase the capacity of the system to ensure more families get the help they need to stay together.


“Families are facing deeply complex and interconnected issues – poverty, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, mental ill health, substance misuse – and one in three South Australian children are notified to child protection,” said SA Minister for Child Protection Katrine Hildyard. 


“Tackling these very challenging issues requires a multi-pronged whole of government, whole of community and whole of sector effort,” she continued. 


“Tackling these issues also requires supporting families in a focused, effective and targeted way to walk alongside and help them tackle the complexity of challenges they may face. This significant funding is about doing just that.”

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