Family Support Services

Intensive, time-limited, home-based program for Aboriginal families in crisis.

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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 Community Services (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.


Burrun Dalai provides a Restoration Service.

Restoration is the process of safely returning a child or young person to their parents after they have been removed from their care. Restoration is about families coming back together. Prioritising restoration recognises the child’s basic human right to be with their parents (providing it is safe for them to do so). This right is enshrined in the United Nations Convention of Rights of the Child.

The process of restoration can be complex and varied. The process will depend on:

• if the child is entering care or

• if the child is in long-term care.

Restoration involves giving families every opportunity to achieve the change needed for restoration to be possible, this includes working in collaboration with parents in a strength based, hopeful and dignity driven way. It also involves building a relationship with the child, their family and community network to help maintain and strengthen life-long connections.

Burrun Dalai focuses on being honest and transparent with the child, their parents, and their carers about the restoration process and what they should expect.


Family Preservation is based on the premise that children have a right to be cared for by their parents and that most parents will be able to provide safe and loving care for their child with short term, intensive and practical help.

Family Preservation is about working with parents and families as early as possible. 

When a parent is supported to develop parenting skills through a difficult period, their child can stay at home safely, immersed in culture, love, and belonging. In cases where support is not provided, a child may be a risk of entering out-of-home care.

We know children grow best in their own families whenever it is safely possible. 

Most parents you work with will love their child and be committed to them, even when you are concerned about if they are able to care for them safely. That’s why we work to strengthen families and keep them safely together. Any disruption in a child’s life, even one intended to ensure their own safety, can be hugely traumatic and have negative repercussions for years or even a lifetime.

Burrun Dalai works with families to keep the family unit together, so parents can raise their children surrounded by family, community and culture and not suffer the effects and trauma of removal.


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.


The aim of IFBS is to gradually reduce dependency on support and for the family to become more sufficient.

  • 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