Unlocking the potential of ICFCs for children experiencing vulnerability
The Sector > Research > Allied Fields > Unlocking the potential of ICFCs for children experiencing vulnerability

Unlocking the potential of ICFCs for children experiencing vulnerability

by Freya Lucas

May 30, 2023

Social Ventures Australia (SVA) has released a discussion paper designed to understand how to unlock the potential of integrated child and family centres (ICFCs) to better support children experiencing vulnerability, and how to strengthen and grow ICFCs in Australia. 


The paper closely examines a number of Australian ICFC models to understand the key enablers and barriers for maximising outcomes for children and families experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage. 


ICFCs are an integrated early years’ service and social hub that have the potential to meet child and family needs and help fill a major gap in the current early years landscape. They offer a unique set of wrap-around supports, a safe space to build social networks and a range of crucial services to ensure children and their families can thrive.


SVA recently undertook a major piece of work to examine several ICFC models throughout Australia. Over 20 sector leaders and government representatives were interviewed as part of this process and a discussion paper to share findings on the complex factors that affect ICFC outcomes was recently launched.


The paper highlights the critical role of ICFCs and unpacks the key barriers and enablers these centres face. It explores the operational, policy and funding structures that are needed to increase their impact to support outcomes for children and families experiencing socio-economic disadvantage.


Findings from the paper reveal the need for strong national leadership and investment from all levels of government to recognise, support and scale quality ICFCs. The paper outlines a series of recommendations aimed at strengthening the impact of ICFCs and scaling their operations to ensure the children who would benefit most are able to access them.


The rich insights, recommendations and learnings from these pieces of work will help to strengthen and grow the ICFC sector and create impact at scale to meet the needs of children and families experiencing disadvantage. 


Visit the SVA website to download a copy of the discussion paper and brief. A recording of the launch is also available, during which SVA facilitated an inspiring discussion with sector leaders, who were able to share more about the impact of integrated early years supports in shaping happy, healthy and thriving children across the country.

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