Our clients always come first at Anglicare Victoria. The best way to help vulnerable young people and families is using programs and therapies backed by strong scientific evidence showing how effective they are at changing lives for the better.
Anglicare Victoria is a state and national leader in delivering evidence-based programs. We have seen first-hand that these discrete interventions can keep families together and help them communicate better. They also give parents the skills and confidence they need to build a safe and supportive environment for their children.
Some of these programs we have developed ourselves, others we are trialling in partnership with the Victorian Government to ensure that they are responsive to the needs of our families and young people.
A growing body of evidence shows that AV’s Rapid Response™ model has been highly successful at keeping families together as a positive alternative to the child protection system. It has operated since 2014 and now operates in five regions across Victoria.
Rapid Response is a four-week intensive placement prevention model that acts as a direct alternative to Child Protection intervention when a decision to remove a child from the home is imminent. The program aims to prevent children being placed in Out of Home Care (OoHC) by providing families with short-term and intensive (up to 15 hours per week) of face to face support.
Rapid Response Practitioners focus on addressing the protective concerns utilising a strengths-based approach that incorporates coaching and role modelling to build on parental strengths, skills, knowledge and resources to increase the levels of safety within the home.
The primary target cohort are children aged 0-16 where:
Families are at imminent risk of a Protection Application by Emergency Care and placing the child in OoHC (priority1).
Families who are Case Managed by Child Protection and are at risk of a Breach to their current order, and the child being placed in OoHC.
SafeCare is an evidence-based parenting program for parents/caregivers of children aged 0-5 years who are at risk of – or have been reported for – child neglect or physical abuse. Numerous publications document the development and validation of SafeCare. Research has shown SafeCare increases positive parent-child interactions, reduces hazards in families’ homes and improves how parents care for their children’s health.
At AV SafeCare Educators work with families in their home to improve parents’ skills in three areas:
Parent-infant/child interaction (PII/PCI): focuses on parent-infant interactions up to 18 months and parent-child interactions for children from 18 months to 5 years. Parents/caregivers learn to increase positive interactions with their infant/child and how to structure daily activities by providing engaging and stimulating activities. In PCI, the skills help to reduce challenging child behaviour and decrease parental stress.
Home safety: focuses on helping parents to identify common household hazards and ways to eliminate them. The importance of supervising infants/children is also discussed.
Health: teaches parents to recognise when their infant/child is sick or injured and to follow a structured process to determine when and how to care for their infant/child. Parents learn when to seek emergency help, when to see a doctor, and when and how to care for their infant/child at home. Parents are also taught to use health reference materials and how to keep good medical records.
SafeCare is delivered by experienced educators with weekly home visits lasting from 50 to 90 minutes. The program can be completed in twenty sessions with each module comprising six sessions. The modules begin and end with observational assessments to identify skill acquisition with training sessions using principles from well-established social learning theory and research.
Anglicare Victoria has been an accredited SafeCare agency with The National SafeCare Training and Research Center since 2019.
Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is a program to help young people and their family to repair and strengthen their relationships, improve the way they communicate and reduce conflict in the home. FFT works mainly with youth aged 10-18 who have behavioural or emotional issues, and have been referred by juvenile justice, mental health, child protection, or education services. FFT uses a short-term intervention approach with an average of 12 to 20 sessions over three to five months. It uses a strengths-based model built on a foundation of acceptance and respect. The program has successfully supported many adolescents and their families across a wide variety of cultures.
More than 1600 practitioners from 330 organisations provide FFT to nearly 50,000 families across the globe every year. There are more than 40 peer reviewed evaluations showing the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the model. No adverse effects have been noted in this research. Thus, FFT is effective for families, it is safe, and it is saves money.
There are five major elements of FFT, which are:
Building a trusting relationship between the family and practitioner
• Working to reduce conflict, increase motivation for change and a positive family environment
• Identifying how family interactions can affect behaviour
• Working to improve communication and conflict management skills
• Extending changes into other areas and family support networks, such as extended family members, teachers and youth justice workers.
Functional Family Therapy through Child Welfare (FFT-CW) is an adaptation of Functional Family Therapy (FFT) which provides services to children, youth and families in child welfare settings. FFT-CW works with families with children and young people aged between 0-18 who have been referred by child protection, education, health or mental health services FFT-CW aims to keep families together and, where possible, prevent children from entering out-of-home care. Services in our FFT-CW are based on the standard FFT model.