Intensive Family Based Services
information about our IFBS services
The Aboriginal Intensive Family Based Service (IFBS) provides an intensive, time-limited, home based program for Aboriginal families in crisis (including extended family). Children in these families are at risk of entering an out-of-home placement due to protective concerns or have been placed in Out-of-Home Care (OOHC). The primary intended outcome of Aboriginal IFBS is that the crisis is stabilised and Aboriginal children at imminent risk of placement in OOHC can stay at home with their family and community in a safe, stable and nurturing environment.
IFBS intervention is time-limited, 12-16 weeks. It is a strengths based intensive intervention program and can provide up to 20 hours intensive family work per week, depending on the child protection concerns. IFBS is also a 24 hour, 7 day per week service and therefore IFBS staff can be available and flexible at any time to accommodate and address the needs and/or crisis of the family.
IFBS also has an additional service within IFBS called Step Down. This will be offered to families who would benefit from additional, less intensive support (for up to 24 weeks) after the IFBS crisis intervention; to maintain their gains and to reduce their risk of ongoing involvement by Community Services (CS).
IFBS can only accept referrals from CS and/or Burrun Dalai OOHC. The referral must meet one of the following criteria to be eligible to participate in the IFBS program.
IFBS is available for Aboriginal families whose children/young people are assessed as being at imminent risk of OOHC placement due to safety and protective concerns. This refers to families where significant changes need to occur to avoid children being placed in alternate care. The Aboriginal IFBS is available to families prior to the commencement of court proceedings for statutory intervention. Crisis interventions are usually carried out over 12 weeks. This timeframe can be extended depending on the needs of the family.
Eligibility is restricted to cases of children/young people who would be unable to return home without the involvement of the IFBS, are currently in OOHC and only where ‘restoration’ is listed as a case plan goal. Restoration work is usually carried out over 16 weeks, to allow a suitable lead-in time of four weeks for IFBS caseworkers to work with the child/young person’s immediate family before they return home. In cases where more than four weeks lead-in time is required (before the child/young person is able to be returned home), CS and IFBS can negotiate on a case by case basis to extend this timeframe.
Placement support is provided to carers where an Aboriginal child or young person is in their care and the placement has become unstable. Placement support is conducted over a 12 week period. This time can be reduced or increased depending on the needs of the child and/or carers.
IFBS staff will work with the family towards reducing the child protection concerns by developing an action plan and using a number of tools/skills/strategies with the family which may include teaching/modelling the new strategies, developing routines or behaviour charts etc. for the individual child and/or family/household.
IFBS can also assist families with referrals to services, transport to medical/specialist appointments and/or provide some material support to assist the family and reduce the immediate crisis.
IFBS staff are Mandatory Reporters and are required to report any suspected Risk of Significant Harm (ROSH) concerns should they arise during the IFBS intervention.
Protect children and young people
Stabilise the crisis situation
Prevent placement into OOHC
Build on family skills and strengths
Maintain and strengthen family bonds
Work in partnership with families and communities
Facilitate and encourage use of community based and interagency services by families
Identify and use culturally appropriate methods, services and service providers
Re-establish family and community ties when restoring children and young people with their immediate and extended families
Identify service and activity needs of families’ and, where necessary, work with other agencies
IFBS aim is to gradually reduce dependency on support and for the family to become more sufficient.