What does ‘vulnerable’ mean for the Family Support Program?
A: The Family Support Program (FSP) provides integrated, early intervention relationship services parenting support and family law services for Australian families and children having difficulties particularly at transition points in the family lifecycle.
The FSP has a focus on ensuring services are available for families and children who are vulnerable to poor outcomes because of multiple or complex needs or who lack resources (financial, physical, personal or social) to support their wellbeing and positive family functioning.
Some families are vulnerable to poor outcomes due to current circumstances (e.g. high conflict separation or divorce) or because they lack things like parenting and relationship skills, safety, income, health and time as well as human, social and psychological capital. It is the lack of these types of resources, rather than family type or characteristic itself, which increases the likelihood of poor outcomes for these families.
FSP services aim to help families who are vulnerable to poor outcomes to build resources and capabilities to enable more positive family functioning.
What do we mean by ‘positive family functioning’?
A: Key aspects of ‘positive family functioning’ include the capacity of a family to support the wellbeing of each other; share their assets, capabilities and resources; raise and nurture children; care for one another and access appropriate supports for those who are sick, have a disability, are aged or need other help; and to connect with their physical, cultural and social environments.
What are poor outcomes families might be vulnerable to?
A: Some of the adverse outcomes vulnerable families and children might experience include compromised social, emotional, physical and cognitive development, social isolation, social exclusion, family violence, sexual/physical/emotional abuse and neglect, poverty, homelessness or poor mental or physical health.
Which populations of families may experience difficulties accessing and/or using resources and services?
A: There is evidence that some family groups may experience greater difficulties accessing and/or using resources and services needed to support wellbeing and positive family functioning.
These families include: Indigenous families; single parent or blended families; young parent families; families living in areas of locational disadvantage; those experiencing housing instability or high mobility; families where violence or significant trauma is an issue; families involved with the child protection and/or family law or justice system; families experiencing financial hardship or disability; grandparent or extended family carers, mental health or substance abuse issues; and many culturally and linguistically diverse families particularly refugees.
Many families have multiple or complex issues which substantially compound vulnerability and disadvantage.
Related Information – Collaborative Service Delivery in the Family Support Program
Related Information – Family Support Program Access Strategy Requirements - Vulnerable & Disadvantaged Client Access Strategy