2.1 Family support service use

Family support services are increasingly recognised as playing a critical role in assisting families and minimising or complementing statutory child protection intervention. Vulnerable and at-risk families are strengthened when they are identified early and are provided with appropriate services and supports to meet their needs.

These services work intensively with families to help create a safe home environment for their children, to avoid the need for out-of-home care, and to help reunite families after a child has been removed.

Note: the number of children who commence intensive family support services is only an approximate indication of the support families are receiving to allow children to live safely at home.

For all indicator displays, where all years of data are comparable over time an ‘All’ category will be provided as an option in the ‘Year’ drop down display. If only a selection of specific years are comparable, these years (e.g. 2017 to 2019) will be provided as an option under ‘Year’ and ‘All’ will not be an option. See the footnotes for this indicator in the supplementary tables hyperlink below for further information.

Source: AIHW Child Protection Data Collection

See the XLS Downloadsupplementary table  for this indicator for further information and footenotes about these data.

Indicator technical specifications

This information provides technical specifications for the summary indicator data presented in the XLS Downloadquick reference guide.

National Framework Indicator 2.1 Family support services: Number of children aged 0-17 years seeking assistance through treatment and support services
  Definition Data source
Numerator Number of children aged 0-17 years who commenced intensive family support services in the reference period AIHW National Child Protection Data Collection
Denominator Not applicable Not applicable

Explanatory notes

The available data for this indicator capture selected family support services that have a funding relationship with the state/territory child protection department.

Available data are aggregate and limited in scope, including children commencing (not continuing) intensive family support services that state/territory child protection departments fund. Intensive family support services only include services that explicitly work to prevent imminent separation of children from their primary caregivers because of child protection concerns, and to reunify families where separation has already occured. They are intensive in nature, averaging at least 4 hours of service provision per week for a specified short-term period (usually less than 6 months).

See the XLS Downloadsupplementary table for this indicator for further information and footnotes about these data.