Rapid Response is a program which provides support to parents at the point of crisis to stop children being removed from their care by child protection authorities. Skilled practitioners engage with families when their children are at risk of removal, delivering a rapid response that includes intensive support to develop the parenting and coping skills they need to rebuild their confidence and become effective carers.
Developed and operated by Anglicare Victoria, the program was assessed by Monash University to determine its impact on children and their families. The assessment report also looked at how the quality of the program roll-out affected the final outcome for families.
For those families that completed Rapid Response, 97 per cent of children remained in parental care at the end of the program. The majority of participants met all or most of their child protection goals. Six months after the end of the program, 80 per cent of these children were still living at home with their families, compared to 50 per cent who engaged with the system as usual.