With the completion of the 2000-2004 Strategy, Stronger Families Learning Exchange's (SFLEX) work has also come to an end. From July 2005 this site will no longer be updated but preserved as an archived part of the AIFS website which may not meet the latest accessibility standards. If you are unable to access content in this archive please contact us and we will endeavour to provide it in a format that you can use. Current information relating to working with families and disadvantaged communities can be found on the Child Family Community Australia information exchange.

Bibliography - Early Intervention

See also: Early Intervention in the Child Development bibliography


Child abuse prevention

Cashmore, J
Child protection in the new millennium.
SPRC Newsletter no.79 May 2001: 1,4-5 and Online (whole issue 220K)

http://www.sprc.unsw.edu.au/media/File/NL79.pdf

Increasing numbers of children have been reported to State statutory child protection authorities because of concerns about their safety and welfare. In this article the author looks at why this increase has occurred and discusses recent developments in policy, legislation and service provision concerned with child protection. She examines the problem of out of home care, the changing definitions of abuse and neglect, and the shift to a family support approach to child protection with a focus on prevention and early intervention.

Edwards, J
Prevention through early intervention in the Benevolent Society, Centre for Children's Early Intervention Programs.
In: Donnolley, S. and Edwards, J. eds. Inner worlds - outer realities: the prevention of child abuse and neglect through early intervention. Sydney, NSW: Benevolent Society of New South Wales, 1998, p33-41

Programs of the Benevolent Society, Centre for Children's Early Intervention - the Families Together Program, the Infant-Parent Program, and the Home-Sart Program - have been designed to complement the work in the Early Intervention Program (EIP), 1998. This chapter describes how these programs work and their aim, which is to give children a better start in life by supporting parents who are experiencing extra stress during pregnancy and their child's early years and by developing relationships with other professionals and community organisations to advocate for children. Common issues dealt with are identified and the practices used are outlined. These are: intervene as soon as possible; visit family at home; and work long term, when necessary, to promote change.

Edwards, Megan; Wearing, Michael
The voice of front-line workers in family support work: a qualitative study of early intervention in child abuse and neglect.
Parramatta, NSW: UnitingCare Burnside, 2003.

The aim of this research was to demonstrate how family support workers engage with disadvantaged families in service practice. There were two specific purposes of the study: to explore how workers' understandings of child abuse risk and protection factors are used in front-line practice; and, to address implications for good practice. The study was conducted in family support services run by Burnside in South West Sydney. An overview of literature, on case assessment, social disadvantage and risk and protection in family support services, is provided. Several critical case examples are used to highlight the complexities of, and some important dimensions to, practice.

Fisher, R
Prevention and early intervention for children and families.
In: Children, Young People and Communities: the Future is in Our Hands: conference proceedings. Hobart, Tas: Division of Child, Youth and Family Support, Department of Health and Human Services, 2001, p4-9

In this keynote address, the author explores the changing nature of families and why it is some children develop health and behavioural problems which may lead to issues such as suicide, juvenile offending or substance abuse. He addresses some of the risks that can lead to behaviour problems and also looks at issues related specifically to Aboriginal children. The author believes that early intervention and prevention is essential and government departments have responsibilities to children. He discusses some initiatives the Western Australian government has undertaken to prevent risk, including the provision of information centres and help lines.

Ford, A
Strategies that work to prevent child abuse and neglect.
In Tucci, J. et al, eds. Agenda for change: solutions to problems in Australian child protection systems: selected conference papers. Clayton, Vic: Australians Against Child Abuse, and Child Abuse and Family Violence Research Unit, Monash University, 1999, p322-333

The Benevolent Society's Centre for Children offers several early intervention services for high risk families. The author describes how these programs approach the prevention of child abuse. He believes that the essential element of the programs is that they are child centred and family focussed, ultimately designed to ensure child protection. They work to achieve risk minimisation for their clients, helping to ensure that the focus of the protection work remains in the community rather than in an institution.

Ford, A
The new emphasis on child abuse prevention: context for early intervention programs.
In: Donnolley, S. and Edwards, J. eds. Inner worlds - outer realities: the prevention of child abuse and neglect through early intervention. Sydney, NSW: Benevolent Society of New South Wales, 1998, p11-31

Suggesting that there is still a long way to go to really understand the extent of abuse and neglect in the population, the author of this chapter argues that the numbers of children at risk of all types of abuse and neglect are still vastly under-reported. The wider context is described with the recognition of a number of important trends in society which impact on children. These are: structural violence in the form of unemployment; substance abuse; changing family structures and increasing rights for adults; and an increasing focus on services for the aged. Recent American and Australian research is reviewed and the risks of focusing on prevention services are addressed, highlighting problems with claims to prevent all child abuse and blaming child protection services when abuse occurs. The need to work with the abused child to prevent the cycle of violence is discussed, particularly in terms of appropriate funding of children's services and the need to focus on the child and not the parents. The challenges of prevention work are identified and four quantitative measures developed by the Benevolent Society in the Families Together Program (1996) and Home-Start (1996) are described: the Family Stress Checklist; the HOME Inventory; the Parenting Stress Index; and the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale. Concerns are raised by the system of competitive tendering for early intervention services called for by the government's Family First Initiative. A plan for early intervention is briefly outlined, with the emphasis on home visiting and the need to involve parents in the process of healing.

Getting in early: reaping the rewards of early intervention.
Rattler no.76 Spring 2003: 18-20

Research supports the social and economic value of early intervention initiatives, showing that government funding of child development programs saves later expenditure on child abuse prevention, health, crime prevention and other social problems. This article describes a range of early intervention initiatives being undertaken by the NSW Department of Community Services (DOCS) to support vulnerable families and protect children and young people. The Health Promoting Early Childhood Program is described, along with DOCS' role in the whole of government Families First initiative. Projects and programs within Families First include measures to support parents who were victims of child abuse, early intervention programs targeting Indigenous families, and men's groups and fathering programs. The effectiveness of multi agency programs is discussed.

McIntosh, Jennifer
Children living with domestic violence: research foundations for early intervention.
Journal of Family Studies v.9 no.2 Oct 2003: 219-234

The impact of violence between parents or caregivers on a child's inner world is complex. Over recent years, researchers have gained vital knowledge about the workings of trauma in children induced by family violence. Of particular power has been definitive evidence about the potential for interspousal trauma to disrupt neurological and biochemical pathways in the developing child. From their respective vantage points, clinicians and researchers name the imperative for the early identification of children traumatised by domestic violence, in the service of preventing acute trauma symptoms from becoming embedded in development, at all levels of the child's functioning. This paper reviews recent evidence about the developmental impact on children of living in violent homes, with the aim of establishing a research-based rationale for early intervention. (Journal abstract)

Mondy, L; Bowditch, P
The first NEWPIN in Australia: a partnership approach towards breaking the cycle of destructive family relationships.
In: 7th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Perth, WA, October 1999: conference proceedings. Canning Bridge, WA: Promaco Conventions, 1999, volume 2, p779-785

NEWPIN, a UK based model based on self-help, peer support and early intervention in families at risk of violence and/or child abuse, which was introduced by Burnside and the Western Sydney Child Protection (PANOC) (physical abuse and neglect of children) service, is described in this paper which discusses the benefits of the partnership between the two agencies, one non-government and one government.

NSW Child Protection Council
A framework for building a child-friendly society: strategies for preventing child abuse and neglect.
Sydney, NSW: New South Wales Child Protection Council, 1997, 85p, figures

A framework to help policy and decision makers develop comprehensive plans to prevent child abuse and neglect and to encourage those working in the field to see how their work contributes to the overall preventive effort is presented in this document. It aims to show how child abuse and neglect can be prevented by recognising the many factors that contribute to it, and to propose a child-friendly society. Issues addressed include: balancing prevention and post-abuse intervention; defining child abuse and the extent of the problem; barriers to prevention; importance of prevention; multiple strategies for prevention at the family/interpersonal level, community level, and societal/cultural level; universal and targeted programs; integrated, coordinated programs and services; early intervention; building community networks and family relationships; individual program evaluation; and research and strategic evaluation.

PeakCare Queensland
Strengthening families to protect children: a discussion paper.
Paddington, Qld: PeakCare Queensland, 2002, 16p

PeakCare is the peak body for non government child and family welfare services in Queensland. In this discussion paper, PeakCare puts forward strategies to help prevent the abuse and neglect of children and young people, to provide early intervention for families unable to protect and care for their children, to assist families to cope with and recover from past instances of child abuse or neglect.

Stringer, A; Clapp, C
Community conversations: a narrative approach to engaging Samoan families in the prevention of child abuse and neglect: 'finding a voice'
In: 7th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Perth WA, October 1999: conference proceedings. Canning Bridge, WA: Promaco Conventions, 1999, volume 1, p259-268, tables

The Family and Neighbourhood Links Project (FANL), an 18 month project commencing in April 1997 conducted by the Children's Protection Society in the City of Whittlesea, was funded by the Victorian Department of Human Services to demonstrate the effectiveness of a community development model to address the needs of children and families from an early intervention, prevention perspective. This paper describes one of the activities recommended for action in the final phase of the project following extensive community consultation and data analysis - a community education program for Samoan and Pacific Islander families on family violence and parenting. A summary is provided about what staff learned from the project, and background information about Samoans is provided, 'The Samoan story'.

Wise, S
A framework for responding to vulnerable children and their families.
Family Matters no.59 Winter 2001: 16-21

In the United Kingdom, there has been an explicit move towards greater emphasis on providing family support when there is concern about a child's welfare. Experience suggests that effective assessment is the foundation upon which to configure the effective delivery of services to children and families. Continuing previous research (1999) at the Australian Institute of Family Studies on the outcomes of the UK Looking After Children approach in out of home care in Victoria, the author discusses the value of the UK Children in Need assessment framework for Victorian Family Services. This approach aims to provide effective and comprehensive services to vulnerable families as early as possible within a child focused service model.

Evaluation

Australia. Department of Family and Community Services
Review of the Early Intervention Parenting Program and Good Beginnings prototypes: Volume 2: literature review and project profiles.
Canberra, ACT: Department of Family and Community Services, 2004, 106p, and Online (PDF 917 KB)

This is volume two of a review of the Early Intervention Parenting Program (EIP) and Good Beginnings Prototype (GBP), the two main sub-components of the Child Abuse Prevention Program. It includes: a literature review; the background to the review; a summary of good practice principles; characteristics of successful early intervention programs; characteristics of effective home visiting programs; early childhood and school based early intervention initiatives; examples of evaluated early intervention programs; and project profiles for each state.

Bryce, H; Drielsma, P
Early intervention home visiting: evaluated and revisited! Evaluation of a preventative model to strengthen isolated families.
Children Australia v.27 no.1 2002: 20-27, tables, figures

This article is a follow-up of a paper describing a proposed 'best practice' model for a home visiting service for first-time parents (Drielsma, 1998). The results of three years implementation and evaluation of a pilot of that model in a geographically isolated semi-metropolitan high growth area on the Central Coast, NSW are presented and discussed. The service uses paid professionals within the context of a 'Family Centre' with a volunteer network to offer ongoing home visiting support to first-time parents who are facing social and geographical isolation and who have few supports and resources to meet their needs. Importantly, the service has relied on close collaboration with child health services and a partnership with other community agencies and the local community itself. The external evaluation used a mix of Action Research and quantitative tools. This showed that the pilot model effectively engaged 'high-risk' families in a non-stigmatising way. Further, these families were networked to an array of other mainstream child health and family support services. The essence of this model was described through an Action Profiling process and this correlated closely with the model's structural parameters of operation. (Journal abstract)

Carnarvon Family Support Service Inc.
Best practice for early intervention and prevention of domestic violence in the Gascoyne region.
Canberra, ACT: Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services - SAAP Research, 2003, 24p, Online only (PDF 277 KB)

http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/42861/20040624-0000/www.facs.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/VIA/newsaap/$File/BestPractice.pdf

Research carried out over the last five years has shown relatively high levels of domestic violence among communities in the Gascoyne region surrounding Carnarvon, Western Australia. In response to the perceived need for effective early intervention and domestic violence prevention services in the Gascoyne region, Carnarvon Family Support Service undertook a research project to evaluate the current services provided by its Carnarvon Women's Refuge and to identify improvements that could be made towards meeting industry best practice. The evaluation was based on a survey of the Refuge's clients, chiefly Aboriginal women who were victims of family violence, over a ten month period. This report outlines the context of the research; research aims, questions and method; the concept of best / good practice; survey findings; and recommendations for improved prevention / early intervention.

Fallon, M A
Evaluating early intervention programs: one model's process and products.
Australian Journal of Early Childhood v.25 no.3 Sept 2000: 26-31

The purpose of this article is to present one model's approach to program evaluation of early intervention programs. The model presented requires implementation by a trained program evaluator and utilises clear and simple data collection methods. The model is based on measures of parental and staff satisfaction resulting in qualitative and quantitative information. Such flexible and accurate measures are necessary for stakeholders to use in making practical policy decisions for program improvement. (Journal abstract)

Moore, Craig
Evaluation of an early intervention program.
In: Intensive Family Services 5th National Practice Symposium: in partnership with families: stepping off the roundabout: presenters' papers. Rose Bay, NSW: Matrix On Board, 2004, 7p, figures, Online (MS Word 118K)

St John of God Family Services provides behaviour management support for families in the Hunter Valley region with children aged between 3 and 11 years of age. Several concurrent programs are offered during the intervention period: assessment and casework, in-home behaviour management support, behaviour management education program, respite care, parent support group, and crisis support service. This evaluation of the program analyses the client base, interventions and outcomes, and the responses to a client survey.

Moore, T; Ochiltree, G; Cann, W
Best Start effective intervention programs: examples of effective interventions, programs and service models.
Melbourne, Vic: Department of Human Services, 2001, 83p, Online (pdf 451 KB)

This report has been prepared by the Centre for Community Child Health and the Victorian Parenting Centre as background reading for the Victorian Government's Best Start project. The report provides a summary of a range of reputable interventions, programs and service models that have been built on or have contributed to the State, national and international evidence base underlying investment in pre-natal, postnatal, infant and early childhood periods of life. The paper describes interventions, programs and service models targeting the child (0-8 years), their parents / carers (including parents to be), and the communities in which they live. Details are given of the evidence on which they are based and their known effectiveness at individual and/or population levels.

Sims, M
Early intervention: where have we been and where are we going?
Australian Journal of Early Childhood v.22 no.4 Dec 1997: 40-46

Professionals working in early intervention have believed for a long time that resources directed towards meeting the needs of young children will be repaid in full in the long term. Early intervention programs are based on the assumption that support in the early years of life is both economic and moral. However, there are a range of different approaches used world wide to support young children and their families. This paper reviews the different models of early intervention and discusses the differing outcomes of these models. As we move more and more into an economic rationalist world in Australia, it is important those in the field of early intervention are clear about what they want to achieve in order to justify their approach to a sceptical world in which every dollar spent is closely scrutinised. (Journal abstract)

Sullivan, Kate; Johnston, Luana
Evaluation of the UnitingCare Burnside ROCK Program
North Parramatta, NSW: UnitingCare Burnside, 2004, 43p, and Online (PDF 1.84 MB)

UnitingCare Burnside's Respite Options and Camps for Kids (ROCK) program, which has been run in Dubbo NSW, provides early intervention with the intention of preventing family breakdown by providing the option of weekend respite and/or bi-monthly camps for young people between 8 and 16 years of age. It also aims to reduce social isolation by building networks and provides 'ROCKON' social events. The target group is families experiencing disadvantage where a break for (or from) the young people is indicated. This report is an evaluation of the program.

Home visiting

Bennett, E; Weber, S
Building bridges: linking services to support families in Tasmania.
In: A healthy start for 0-5 year olds. Canberra, ACT: Department of Health and Aged Care, 1998, p17-28 (Occasional papers series no.3), and Online (whole volume 209K)

http://agencysearch.australia.gov.au/search/click.cgi?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aodgp.gov.au%2Finternet%2Fmain%2Fpublishing.nsf%2FContent%2F99ACA24B14909BAACA2574970019A4C7%2F%24File%2Fhacocc3.pdf&rank=1&collection=agencies

This paper discusses Building Bridges, an early intervention project, which is a new initiative planned by the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services. A brief introduction to the structure of the Department and some information about the socioeconomic factors influencing the Tasmanian situation are discussed. Within this setting the background to the Building Bridges project is outlined as well as an overview of the principle components of the proposed model. The project is modelled on early intervention based on primary health care principles and involves coordination of Family, Child and Youth Health Services and Child Youth and Family Support Division. The most significant finding of a follow up of children whose parents had been involved in the program, showed a 50 per cent reduction in physical abuse compared with abuse levels where these children lived. The authors highlight the Department's current opportunities and challenges that form the context for the planning process being embarked upon.

Bryce, H; Drielsma, P
Early intervention home visiting: evaluated and revisited! Evaluation of a preventative model to strengthen isolated families.
Children Australia v.27 no.1 2002: 20-27, tables, figures

This article is a follow-up of a paper describing a proposed 'best practice' model for a home visiting service for first-time parents (Drielsma, 1998). The results of three years implementation and evaluation of a pilot of that model in a geographically isolated semi-metropolitan high growth area on the Central Coast, NSW are presented and discussed. The service uses paid professionals within the context of a 'Family Centre' with a volunteer network to offer ongoing home visiting support to first-time parents who are facing social and geographical isolation and who have few supports and resources to meet their needs. Importantly, the service has relied on close collaboration with child health services and a partnership with other community agencies and the local community itself. The external evaluation used a mix of Action Research and quantitative tools. This showed that the pilot model effectively engaged 'high-risk' families in a non-stigmatising way. Further, these families were networked to an array of other mainstream child health and family support services. The essence of this model was described through an Action Profiling process and this correlated closely with the model's structural parameters of operation. (Journal abstract)

Drielsma, P
Early intervention home visiting: a preventative model to strengthen isolated families.
Children Australia v.23 no.1 1998: 4-11

Burnside is an agency of the Uniting Church and has a role to facilitate the development of children and families most in need through quality services, research and advocacy. This article describes a home visiting model which was developed and approved for implementation as a three year pilot by Burnside on the Central Coast in NSW, beginning in 1997. The model is described and presented as a format that may be useful to stimulate similar program proposals elsewhere. The model uses paid professionals within the context of a "Family Centre" with a volunteer network to offer ongoing home visiting support to first-time parents facing social and geographical isolation and who have few supports and resources to meet their needs. Importantly, the model relies on close collaboration with Child Health services and a partnership with other community agencies and the local community itself. The model accommodates current debate about the need to break cycles of abuse through positive preventative family support to strengthen families and communities. (Journal Abstract)

Edwards, J
Early intervention.
In: The Way Forward: Children, Young People and Domestic Violence National Forum, April 2000, proceedings. Barton, ACT: Office of the Status of Women for Partnerships Against Domestic Violence, 2000, p67-70

The NSW Benevolent Society's Early Intervention service aims to give children a good start in life by supporting parents who are experiencing stress during pregnancy and their child's early years. This paper describes this service, highlighting their philosophy and approach and addressing issues that the early intervention teams continue to struggle with around domestic violence. Suggestions on how to facilitate empathy in the parent / infant relationship are provided.

Edwards, J; Andrees, E
Home visiting.
In: Donnolley, S. and Edwards, J. eds. Inner worlds - outer realities: the prevention of child abuse and neglect through early intervention. Sydney, NSW: Benevolent Society of New South Wales, 1998, p81-93

The role of home visiting in the Benevolent Society's early intervention services is discussed in this chapter which examines some of the advantages and difficulties that accompany home-based clinical practices. Engaging harder to reach clients, empowerment of clients and providing an individualised service are listed as advantages while difficulties include: difficulty in worker containing feelings; harder to maintain a frame to work within; and missed appointments. A case study is presented to illustrate these issues.

Fraser, J A; Armstrong, K L; Dadds, M R; Morris, J P
Preventing abuse and neglect of children under 2 years: early identification of those who parent under stress.
In: 7th Australian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Perth, WA, October 1999: conference proceedings. Canning Bridge, WA: Promaco Conventions, 1999, volume 1, p13-21, tables, figures

Specifically focusing on the final aim of a trial study which evaluated the effectiveness of home visiting as a prevention and early intervention strategy for child abuse and neglect in Brisbane, Queensland, this paper considers the hypothesis that maternal, family and environmental factors identified in the immediate postnatal period would be predictive of adjustment to the parenting role.

Huston, C; Armstrong, K
Home visiting family therapy for children at risk.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy v.20 no.1 Mar 1999: 41-45

Home visiting has a long history in the areas of health and welfare. Early intervention through home visiting programs has been found effective in preventing abuse and neglect in many countries including the USA, Ireland, and Europe. The success of these programs lay in their effectiveness in reducing social isolation, improving parenting skills and enhancing self esteem. This paper reports on the role of family therapy in home-based early intervention for families with newborn infants. (Journal abstract)

Long, C
Early intervention: home visits and parenting centres.
In: Children, Young People and Communities: the Future is in Our Hands: conference proceedings. Hobart, Tas: Division of Child, Youth and Family Support, Department of Health and Human Services, 2001, p18-20

This paper consists of a series of points highlighting areas in which early intervention efforts in child rearing can be effective. The author raises issues related to home visiting, including outcomes and useful tools, and new parent groups and the role of nurses. She also points to the way in which parenting centres and other services, such as telephone help lines, can help new parents with issues such as breastfeedings, and sleep patterns.

Long, C
Early intervention: home visits and parenting centres.
In: Children, Young People and Communities: the Future is in Our Hands: conference proceedings. Hobart, Tas: Division of Child, Youth and Family Support, Department of Health and Human Services, 2001, p18-20

This paper consists of a series of points highlighting areas in which early intervention efforts in child rearing can be effective. The author raises issues related to home visiting, including outcomes and useful tools, and new parent groups and the role of nurses. She also points to the way in which parenting centres and other services, such as telephone help lines, can help new parents with issues such as breastfeedings, and sleep patterns.

Matthey, S
Early intervention and perinatal mental health.
AusEinetter no.8 Mar 1999: 3-6, and Online

http://auseinet.flinders.edu.au/resources/auseinet/netter8/netter03.php

The use of screening instruments antenatally and postnatally for women at risk of post natal depression is discussed in this article which explores home visiting intervention; the benefits and efficacy of screening and prediction; and appropriate interventions for at-risk women.

Interagency co-operation

Cann, W; Rogers, H; Worley, G
A telephone assisted parenting support service for families living in isolated rural areas.
Victorian Parenting Centre News v.6 winter 2001: 9-11

An overview is presented of the Positive Parenting Telephone Service, a preventative and early intervention initiative which endeavours to engage parents who are unable to access more traditional parenting and family support services due to geographical isolation. The program can be accessed by any parent, but it is particularly aimed at families where early difficulties in the parent child relationship place children at risk for more serious and chronic psychosocial maladjustment. The service was established by a consortia of agencies based in the Hume Region including the Upper Hume Community Health Service and Lifeline (Albury Wodonga) with clinical and program support provided by the Victorian Parenting Centre. Program evaluation and outcomes are discussed, as are future directions.

Kelly, L; Vnuk, M
Linking early intervention programs to training and work pathways.
In: 8th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne, 12-14 February 2003: proceedings. Melbourne, Vic: Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2003, 7p, figure. Online only (PDF 37 KB)

http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/afrc8/kelly.pdf

This paper covers an approach of collaboration between two program areas in the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS) to jointly fund and support community based early intervention programs, and to integrate these with initiatives that focus on pathways to education and employment.

Mondy, L; Bowditch, P
The first NEWPIN in Australia: a partnership approach towards breaking the cycle of destructive family relationships.
In: 7th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Perth, WA, October 1999: conference proceedings. Canning Bridge, WA: Promaco Conventions, 1999, volume 2, p779-785

NEWPIN, a UK based model based on self-help, peer support and early intervention in families at risk of violence and/or child abuse, which was introduced by Burnside and the Western Sydney Child Protection (PANOC) (physical abuse and neglect of children) service, is described in this paper which discusses the benefits of the partnership between the two agencies, one non-government and one government.

O'Donovan, E, comp.
A framework for building a child friendly society: strategies for preventing child abuse and neglect: summary document.
Sydney, NSW: New South Wales Child Protection Council, 1998, 18p, figures

This document outlines strategies for preventing child abuse and neglect, presenting these strategies within a framework for building a child friendly society. Issues discussed include: defining the problem of child abuse; extent of child abuse and neglect; balancing prevention and post abuse intervention; barriers to effective prevention; risk factors and protective factors; early intervention; research, evaluation and monitoring; building community networks and family relationships; existing programs and services; and improving parenting education. A summary of recommendations is provided.

School and preschool role

Argyle, B L; Brown, J
An innovative approach to child protection involving schools and young people in early intervention work with families.
Unpublished, 1998, 13p, figures. Paper presented at the 12th International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect, September 1998, Auckland.

The intent of this presentation is to outline how close links with schools and the involvement of young people in working with families can be very effective in preventing irretrievable family breakdown and possible abuse. There appears to be a gap in the provision of integrated preventative and early intervention services by the Department of Community Services, to families facing the possibility of abuse or irretrievable family breakdown. Often this results in youth homelessness, suicide, self-harm, mental health issues, exclusion from the education system, or incarceration. The Regional Extended Family Services (REFS) model of intervention offers family mediation, solution-focused family therapy, individual counselling, family support, supported accommodation options. A joint project is currently being undertaken in child protection services offering REFS options to adolescents and families. The authors experience in providing preventative and early intervention options to address parent-adolescent issues in both short and long term indicates that close links with schools, the involvement of trained young people as role models and as peer mediators and the provision of options for families, greatly enhances the engagement of young, people and their families and the likelihood of successful outcomes. Student welfare staff are frequently the first point of contact for young people experiencing family difficulties, including child protection issues. Following recognition of best practice work with families, the Department of Human Services funded an independent evaluation of REFS programs. Interviews with clients six to eighteen months postintervention reinforced the long-term benefits of this, model. Specifically 67% of clients surveyed indicated that they believed total family breakdown would have occurred in the absence of intervention. The acquisition of communication and problem solving skills by family members during the process also enhances family resilience. (Author abstract)

Coote, S
Families and Schools Together (FAST): a school based early intervention program.
Unpublished, 1998, 14p, tables. Paper presented at the 12th International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect, September 1998, Auckland

The purpose of this presentation is to describe and report on the statistically significant findings on an innovative, school-based early intervention program for at risk children and families. Families and Schools Together (FAST) has a positive impact and makes a difference to family functioning in just 8 weeks! FAST was piloted in 1997/98 in Melbourne, Australia. FAST targets multi-problem children (aged 4-9 years) identified by teachers in primary school as being at risk for the problem cluster of delinquency, substance abuse and school failure. The approach is voluntary and uses combinations of incentives to get high program participation with alienated, isolated, impoverished families. FAST is a respectful, positive program that builds bonds between parent and child, builds a self-help group, builds connections between parents and community resources (eg, family support and substance abuse agencies and schools). Whole families participate in 8, weekly, 2 hour sessions held at the school. Each component of this highly structured, value based, multi-family program is based on extensive published psychiatry, psychology and family therapy research, as well as accepted family stress and social support theory. This knowledge is applied to challenge future problems at risk children face as adolescents. As well, FAST builds protective mechanisms, resiliency and strengths of families in an environment of fun-filled family activities. The paper provides a brief overview of the components of the multi-family FAST sessions, the two-year follow-up self-help family support meetings, FASTWORKS, and outcome data. FAST measures its impact on participating families and children. Evaluation of three school sites shows positive impact of FAST on both child and family functioning in just 8 weeks; less social isolation; and high parent satisfaction. (Author abstract)

Dickinson, P; Coggan, C; Bennett, S
TRAVELLERS: a school-based early intervention programme helping young people manage and process change, loss and transition. Pilot phase findings.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry v.37 no.3 Jun 2003: 299-306, tables, figures

This paper outlines the conceptual background and findings from the pilot phase of TRAVELLERS, an early intervention program designed to enhance protective factors for young people experiencing change, loss and transition events and early signs of emotional distress. The pilot study aimed to determine whether TRAVELLERS was a feasible, acceptable and promising intervention for young people within secondary schools in Aotearoa / New Zealand. The conceptual origins of the TRAVELLERS program are described in terms of adolescent mental health concerns, emerging mental health promotion theory and practice, and prevention and early intervention models. The program was piloted in two secondary schools, one rural and one urban, with 34 participants. Evaluation methods included review of program materials, identification of appropriate potential selection tools, analysis of selection questionnaire, and conduct of feedback from participants, facilitators and parents or caregivers. The program provides a means of identifying and selecting young people who may benefit from participating in an early intervention program. It was found that targeted interventions provided within a supportive school environment can contribute to enhancing protective factors such as personal and interpersonal coping strategies, increased help seeking behaviour and young people feeling more positive about themselves and their lives. (Journal abstract, edited)

French, S
Preschool participation: strengthening protective factors for 'at risk' children.
In: One child's reality, everyone's responsibility: proceedings, 8th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. Melbourne, Vic: Department of Human Services, 2001.

Preschool participation promotes resilience and protective factors for at risk families as well as increased life opportunities for children. It is of great importance that strategies for the inclusion of at risk children in preschool are promoted. The preschool experience also strengthens community networks for parents. There is evidence that promoting targeted preschool participation for children residing in at risk communities results in long term savings to government. The Preschool Participation study, undertaken in North Geelong, Victoria in 2000, found that children who did not attend preschool, or did not attend for the full year, were from marginalised and vulnerable families. These included non English speaking background, single parent families and families buying their own homes in lower socioeconomic suburbs. (Author abstract, edited)

Hayes, Alan
What works in early intervention and prevention: a critical re-consideration.
In: Knowledge into action! Effective practice for child and family services: proceedings of the 2004 Conference of the Association of Childrens Welfare Agencies. Haymarket, NSW: Association of Childrens Welfare Agencies, 2004, 20p, figures

This plenary address considers the value of early intervention and discusses outcomes of the Perry Preschool Program as an example. It looks at risk and resilience and key aspects of intervention and prevention. It explains why a national agenda for early childhood is needed and what it is. It outlines new Australian government investments in early childhood.

Jane, L
Early intervention programs enhance resilience and self esteem in children and young people.
In: One child's reality, everyone's responsibility: proceedings, 8th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. Melbourne, Vic: Department of Human Services, 2001

MacKillop Family Services' Education Mobile Unit (EMU) program works closely with primary and secondary school students in the Barwon region of Victoria who are at risk. It aims to improve and enhance self esteem, social skills and resilience. The author describes how the program, an early intervention model, offers practical and successful strategies to education professionals and parents. The link between the prevention of child abuse and neglect and the EMU program is that it exposes positive strategies of behaviour management, rather than physical discipline, to parents, children and young people. The program advocates children's rights and the basic value that children and young people should be viewed by society as individuals. (Author abstract, edited)

Lally, Ron
Child care as early intervention.
Jigsaw no.30 Spring 2003: 13-14

The author argues that when child care is provided appropriately, it is a major tool in early intervention. In this article, the author discusses the seven therapeutic gifts that a good child care program offers very young children: nurturance; support; security; predictability; focus; encouragement; and expansion.

Manjiviona, J
A review of the Families and Schools Together (FAST) Program.
Victorian Parenting Centre News v.2 no.2 Nov 1999: 6-12

Families and Schools Together (FAST) is an early intervention program that was developed by Dr Lynn McDonald in the United States in 1988. FAST is a community-based substance abuse prevention program targeted towards low income, socially isolated families who have children (3-14 years) who exhibit at-risk behaviours (such as school failure and substance abuse). This overview of FAST covers intended client population (selected high risk population); recruitment; aims / objectives; content; skill development; the FAST evaluation model; supplementary materials; type of professional intervention required; practicality of implementation; theoretical basis; empirical support; generalisation; evidence of client acceptability and satisfaction; limitations. An overall assessment of FAST concludes the article.

Ryan, M
Redefining schools as sites for holistic service delivery.
Youth Issues Forum Summer 1996: 2-5, 23, 31-32

In many recent human services reports, there have been calls for related and integrated agency support for young people and their families. The recommendation is that schools become a focal point for early intervention for students experiencing educational disadvantage. Reports on the topic propose an integration of education, youth and family services. In this article the author looks at the particular case of Kensington Community High School in inner Melbourne and how the school could become a focal point for integrated services. The possible problems and disadvantages are discussed.

Strengthening families

Anthony, L
Paying attention to our children.
Child Abuse Prevention Newsletter v.8 no.2 Summer 2000: 1-4, and Online

The Government has announced a number of new children's contact services which will offer a neutral location for changeovers between resident and non resident parents and for supervised contact visits. The purpose is to provide separated parents with the skills and support they need to deal reasonably with each other for the benefit of their children. This article focuses on the strategies necessary to ensure children are receiving the attention they deserve: early intervention and prevention of problems; working with the community to provide better services and support for parents; holistic responses to problems; and using existing activities to build better approaches. Part of the Government's commitment to help families build resilience and strength is the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy which is described in this article.

Australia. Department of Family and Community Services
Stronger families and communities strategy: together we can make a difference.
Canberra, ACT: Department of Family and Community Services, 2003, 1 folder (fact sheets, case studies, project outline form)

This information kit from the Department of Family and Community Services contains a variety of information to inform and support community access to resources available under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy. In addition to case studies of existing projects and fact sheets about the Strategy and funding, information is contained on the linked initiatives of the Strategy: the Stronger Families Fund, Early Intervention, Parenting and Family Relationship Support, Potential Leaders in Local Communities, Local Solutions to Local Problems, Can Do Community and National Skills Development for Volunteers Program. A project outline form to register interest in participating in the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy is also included.

Brewster, W
Early intervention for children with social and emotional difficulties in the preschool years, supporting children, families and centres.
In: Early Childhood Matters Conference - Starting Strong - making the most of the first eight years: conference papers. Melbourne, Vic: Department of Human Services, 2002, 10p,

Working Together is an early intervention, family support program that targets families with pre-school aged children (2-6 years of age) experiencing social and emotional difficulties and/or children with challenging behaviours. This paper presents an overview of Working Together, including its objectives, types of families referred, mode of operation, and a case study.

Bryce, H; Drielsma, P
Early intervention home visiting: evaluated and revisited! Evaluation of a preventative model to strengthen isolated families.
Children Australia v.27 no.1 2002: 20-27, tables, figures

This article is a follow-up of a paper describing a proposed 'best practice' model for a home visiting service for first-time parents (Drielsma, 1998). The results of three years implementation and evaluation of a pilot of that model in a geographically isolated semi-metropolitan high growth area on the Central Coast, NSW are presented and discussed. The service uses paid professionals within the context of a 'Family Centre' with a volunteer network to offer ongoing home visiting support to first-time parents who are facing social and geographical isolation and who have few supports and resources to meet their needs. Importantly, the service has relied on close collaboration with child health services and a partnership with other community agencies and the local community itself. The external evaluation used a mix of Action Research and quantitative tools. This showed that the pilot model effectively engaged 'high-risk' families in a non-stigmatising way. Further, these families were networked to an array of other mainstream child health and family support services. The essence of this model was described through an Action Profiling process and this correlated closely with the model's structural parameters of operation. (Journal abstract)

Bullen, P
Strengthening families: facts and figures about family support services in NSW 1988-1998.
Concord West, NSW: Family Support Services Association of NSW, 2nd ed., 2000, 66p, tables, figures.

An overview of facts and figures about Family Support Services in NSW is provided in this report which uses data collections from 1988 to 1998 to discuss: the principles behind family support services; the services in NSW; service models covering preventative, early intervention, and crisis intervention services; community development work; family worker clients; groups run by family support services; information and referral; practice wisdom; an some of the findings of the social capital survey: the pilot study, Measuring Social Capital in Five Communities in NSW. A separate 12 page summary of this report is also available.

Cadd, Muriel
VACCA Early Intervention Program.
In: Knowledge into Action: Effective Practice for Child and Family Services Conference, August 2004 - Proceedings (Monday 01). Sydney, NSW: Association of Childrens Welfare Agencies, 2004, 14p, Online only (PDF 100 KB)

http://www.acwa.asn.au/Conf2004/acwa2004papers/01_CADD_txt.pdf

The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency is a holistic service response with a child, family and community focus. VACCA's objectives include the preservation, strengthening and protection of the cultural and spiritual identify of Indigenous children and to provide culturally appropriate and quality services which are responsive to the needs of the Indigenous community. This paper provides an overview of the the research underpinning the program; articulates the values, core components and the proposed model; provides details of the consultation with the Indigenous community; and describes the current early intervention program.

Fish, E
The benefits of early intervention.
Stronger Families Learning Exchange Bulletin no.2 Spring - Summer 2002: 8-11, and Online

http://www.aifs.gov.au/sf/pubs/bull2/ef.html

Part of the brief of the Stronger Families Learning Exchange at the Australian Institute of Family Studies is to provide support to early intervention projects, funded under the Commonwealth's Stronger Families Fund. An article in the previous Stronger Families Bulletin outlined the importance of early intervention into children's and families' lives and put this into the context of the Commonwealth Government's Stronger Families and Communities Strategy. It also provided an introduction to the evidence base underpinning an early intervention approach. In this article, the author further explores evidence for the effectiveness of early intervention.

Joinking, Anita
Building resilient families.
In: Australian Social Policy Conference, 9-11 July 2003 - Papers. Sydney, NSW: Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, 2003, 9p, Online only (PDF 30 KB)

http://www2.sprc.unsw.edu.au/aspc2003/abstract.asp?PaperID=191

This paper is based on two research projects conducted by Mission Australia over the past 18 months, resulting in the Snapshot reports: 'Families on the Margins' and 'Building Resilient Families'. Both federal and state governments have shown commitment to strengthening families through a number of projects, and federal government also identified the need to build strength in families as a critical element in the context of broader welfare reform. At a macro level, these strategies are absolutely correct in their focus but the real question is whether at a micro level they are reaching those in need. Mission Australia's research identifies a number of family types which are more likely to be socially, economically and geographically isolated. The research focuses mainly on strategies for building resilience in families; and identifies types of support services (including innovative early intervention services and community capacity building services) needed to make a meaningful difference to ensure social inclusion for children. (Author abstract, edited)

Kalil, A
Family resilience and good child outcomes: a review of the literature.
Wellington, NZ: Centre for Social Research and Evaluation, Ministry of Social Development, 2003, 83p

This report focuses on the issue of family resilience. The central question is why is it that some families manage to cope well when facing stress or confronted with a crisis, while other families in similar circumstances fail to do so. The report draws on a wide range of literature to examine how the concept of family resilience has been defined and applied by scholars in this field and to document the research findings about how family resilience manifests itself. The following conclusions were reached: early intervention is key to obtaining positive results; different programs are needed for different types of family environments; and it is necessary to build the factors that protect families and to reduce the ecological risks that threaten family functioning.

Krsevan, K
Putting families first in New South Wales.
Rattler no.54 Winter 2000: 8-9

Families First is a strategy initiated by the NSW government aimed at strengthening and coordinating prevention and early intervention support to families, with the end result of improving the life outcomes for their children. The strategy was influenced by the growing body of research which indicates that the first three years of a child's life are crucial in developing. This article provides information in how the strategy is being imlemented and how it relates to the children's services sector.

Mackay, R
Family resilience and good child outcomes: an overview of the research literature.
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand no.20 Jun 2003: 98-118

A review of the international research literature on family resilience shows that processes that operate at the family level - including strong emotional bonds, effective patterns of communication, the use of coping strategies and family belief systems, especially those based on spiritual or religious values - are important means by which families manage to cope with adversity. Positive parenting is a key influence on children's development, especially in adverse financial circumstances. Wider family involvement can also assist families to cope with stress. In particular, non-resident fathers and other father figures have an important role to play in promoting the development of children in lone-mother families, while the burden of teenage parenthood can be eased by multi-generational co-residence. On the question of whether it is possible to inculcate resilience in families, evidence from a range of recent evaluations of selected intervention programmes shows that approaches that work best are those that involve early intervention, that are sensitive to families' cultures and values and that assist in relieving families' ecological stresses. (Journal abstract)

McKay, Robyn; Emerson, Lee; Delahunt, Rosemary; Gifford, Jean
The Stronger Families and Communities Strategy: prevention and early intervention strategies in family policy.
Unpublished paper, 2000, 12p. Paper presented at Family Futures: Issues in Research and Policy, 7th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Sydney, July 2000.

The Stronger Families and Communities Strategy, a federal government initiative announced in 2000, illustrates a shift in social policy towards prevention and early intervention. The authors discuss the government's social policy direction with particular reference to the Strategy as part of an integrated approach aiming to strengthen family and community capacity.

Newman, J
The commonwealth government's approach to family policy.
Family Matters no.54 Spring - Summer 1999: 36-41 and Online (368 KB)

http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/fm/fm54jn.pdf

This article outlines the government's objectives and achievements in family policy and reveals that future directions for family policy will focus on prevention and early intervention with a view to strengthening families. The aims of the National Families Strategy are discussed. The article is followed by an outline of significant new developments in welfare policy since the article was written. Principles which have been identified to guide welfare reform are outlined, and brief information is provided about the Reference Group on Welfare Reform which has been formed.

O'Neil, D
Strengthening families through early intervention: a solution focussed approach.
In: Children, Young People and Communities: the Future is in Our Hands: conference proceedings. Hobart, Tas: Division of Child, Youth and Family Support, Department of Health and Human Services, 2001, p44-46 and online

http://www.aic.gov.au/events/aic%20upcoming%20events/2001/cypc.aspx

The author suggests that current social policy is focused on rescue work rather than preventative work. She explains that although our immediate response is to the pain of a child, removing it from a home does not prevent abuse. She believes that the answer lies in greater emphasis on preventative measures. She gives examples from the range of services provided by, St Luke's Anglicare for families and children. St Luke's was reorganised in 1987 around outcomes, with its services becoming more goal directed. The author explains how this approach can give families and children more protection than by just responding to their immediate needs.

PeakCare Queensland
Strengthening families to protect children: a discussion paper.
Paddington, Qld: PeakCare Queensland, 2002, 16p

PeakCare is the peak body for non government child and family welfare services in Queensland. In this discussion paper, PeakCare puts forward strategies to help prevent the abuse and neglect of children and young people, to provide early intervention for families unable to protect and care for their children, to assist families to cope with and recover from past instances of child abuse or neglect.

Rees, Susan
Strengthening family relations and supporting young people in the Cairns area: the early intervention service review 2001.
Brisbane, Qld: Department of Families, 2001, 57p

The Early Intervention Service (EIS) administered by the Department of Families in Cairns, Queensland, primarily targets young people aged 10 to 16 years and their families. The focus is on young people at risk of family breakdown and of leaving home prematurely. This review focuses on the roles, functions and responsibilities of the EIS model and its applicability to the specific needs of Cairns and the region. It emphasises aspects of the service model including staffing structure, job descriptions, human and physical resource implications, and links/protocols with the Cairns Area Office of the Department of Families.

Online only

Australian Institute of Criminology
Developmental and early intervention approaches to crime prevention.
Canberra, ACT: Australian Institute of Criminology, 2003, 1p (AICrime reduction matters no.4), Online only

www.aic.gov.au/documents/1/0/F/%7B10F8EA2F-B59D-49AF-B35C-5EF5F6D2866D%7Dcrm004.pdf

This bulletin briefly describes the reasons for the growing interest in developmental and early intervention for crime prevention, and outlines areas typically covered by developmental prevention programs.

Barnardos Australia
Getting it right on both fronts: an integrated strengths based approach to practice and organisational management.
In: Family Strengths: Everybody's Business, Everybody's Gain - The Second Australian Conference on Building Family Strengths, University of Newcastle, December 2001, 16p, figures, Online only (465 KB)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.arc-23623-20020228-www.pco.com.au/familystrengths/ Moore%20Getting%20It%20Right-----Family%20Strengths%20Conf.23-11-01.doc

Barnardos South Coast Centre is a Children's Family Centre, one of 4 such Centres established by Barnardos Australia. Children's Family Centres are made up of integrated family support services, that is family support services in the generic sense, which are managed in a way that makes them 'seamless to clients'. This archived paper describes how Barnardos South Coast Centre is using an integrated strengths based approach to practice and organisational management. It focuses on the evolution of these strengths based approaches to working with marginalised families in the Centre, and describes the Family Support program restructure - a process which is building on lessons from the early years research and practice evidence. Barnardos have developed a framework that delivers prevention and early intervention services across a continuum of need. Practice examples of integrated child and family services are also provided.

Cadd, Muriel
VACCA Early Intervention Program.
In: Knowledge into Action: Effective Practice for Child and Family Services Conference, August 2004 - Proceedings (Monday 01). Sydney, NSW: Association of Childrens Welfare Agencies, 2004, 14p, Online only (PDF 100 KB)

http://www.acwa.asn.au/Conf2004/acwa2004papers/01_CADD_txt.pdf

The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency is a holistic service response with a child, family and community focus. VACCA's objectives include the preservation, strengthening and protection of the cultural and spiritual identify of Indigenous children and to provide culturally appropriate and quality services which are responsive to the needs of the Indigenous community. This paper provides an overview of the the research underpinning the program; articulates the values, core components and the proposed model; provides details of the consultation with the Indigenous community; and describes the current early intervention program.

Carnarvon Family Support Service Inc.
Best practice for early intervention and prevention of domestic violence in the Gascoyne region.
Canberra, ACT: Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services - SAAP Research, 2003, 24p, Online only (PDF 277 KB)

http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/42861/20040624-0000/www.facs.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/VIA/newsaap/$File/BestPractice.pdf

Research carried out over the last five years has shown relatively high levels of domestic violence among communities in the Gascoyne region surrounding Carnarvon, Western Australia. In response to the perceived need for effective early intervention and domestic violence prevention services in the Gascoyne region, Carnarvon Family Support Service undertook a research project to evaluate the current services provided by its Carnarvon Women's Refuge and to identify improvements that could be made towards meeting industry best practice. The evaluation was based on a survey of the Refuge's clients, chiefly Aboriginal women who were victims of family violence, over a ten month period. This report outlines the context of the research; research aims, questions and method; the concept of best / good practice; survey findings; and recommendations for improved prevention / early intervention.

Collins, K; Winkworth, G
The ACT Schools as Communities program.
In: Family Strengths: Everybody's Business, Everybody's Gain - The Second Australian Conference on Building Family Strengths, University of Newcastle, December 2001, 23p, Online only (125 KB)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.arc-23623

This paper provides an overview of the Schools as Communities program, a new ACT Government initiative aimed at increasing social capital in 'at risk' regions. It is a unique and innovative approach to early intervention and prevention which has grown out of the co-location in the ACT of child welfare services and government schooling. Addressing the gap between statutory child protection and family support and community development programs for children and young people 'at risk', the program assists schools and families to tap into the network of health and community services that exist in the ACT through a team of community outreach workers, in selected primary and pre-school sites. The program seeks to enhance educational and social outcomes for at risk children and young people by creating strong and effective working relationships between families, communities and their schools.

Crisante, Lea
Training in parent consultation skills for primary care practitioners in early intervention in the pre-school context.
Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health (AeJAMH) v.2 no.3 Nov 2003: 10p, tables, Online only (PDF 64 KB)

http://auseinet.flinders.edu.au/journal/vol2iss3/crisante.pdf

This paper describes the implementation of a brief behavioural intervention, based on the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program by 13 pre school practitioners with 39 parents. The intervention was a response to a need identified by practitioners to deal more effectively with requests for assistance with behaviour management by parents whose children attend pre schools and long day care centres. Following completion of training, practitioners were asked to implement the intervention with at least three parents and to keep a personal diary of the strategies used during the consultations. The practitioners reported improvements in their skills in managing difficult behaviour in the pre school context. Parents reported improved experience of partner support and attitudes towards parenting, as well as high levels of satisfaction with the service provided. The results point to the role of primary care practitioners in providing services in settings that are easily accessed by parents, thus increasing the availability of support to parents with young children. (Journal abstract)

Fisher, R
Prevention and early intervention for children and families.
In: Children, Young People and Communities: the Future is in Our Hands Conference - papers. Canberra, ACT: Australian Institute of Criminology, 2001, 9p, Online only (31 KB)

http://www.aic.gov.au/events/aic%20upcoming%20events/2001/cypc.aspx

Arguing that identification of risk and protective factors has been vital in the development of effective preventive and early intervention services, this paper discusses issues of: the changing nature of families; Aboriginal issues; increasing drug use in the community; risk factors for children and families; and a range of early intervention and prevention initiatives including, Parenting Line, parent information centres, parenting information on Aboriginal families, Parent Link Volunteer Home Visiting Service, Under Tens Preventive Family Support Service, Home School Support, Building Blocks, Best Start, and the WA Strong Families Program.

Griffiths, E; Hays, J
Towards stability and independence for young families in crisis: Family Crisis Childcare Pilot Project: Townsville Centrelink, Queensland.
In: Family futures: issues in research and policy, 7th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Sydney, July 2000. Melbourne, Vic: Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2000, 12p, table, figures, Online only (64 KB)

http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/afrc7/griffiths.html

The Family Crisis Childcare Pilot Project began operations in Townsville in January 2000. One of two new pilot projects in Australia funded by the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services, it is the only one operating out of Centrelink and in a provincial city. The Centrelink Young Family Support Worker has been funded to examine how childcare services can assist young families in crisis overcome their immediate difficulties and work towards a more stable and independent future. Early intervention and prevention are central to the model of service delivery, as are program flexibility and assisting young parents to actively initiate positive change. The primary target group is partnered or single young parents aged 15 - 25 and the anticipated project outcomes include: improved stability and independence of young families in crisis and those at high risk of early and problematic parenthood; improved outcomes for young people due to better links between service providers; participation in education, training or employment where feasible; development of sustainable community partnership models focussing on prevention and early intervention with young families and those at high risk); and better use of child care services to support young families in crisis. The project expects to provide an insight into the needs and solutions for young families in crisis as well as identifying gaps and issues within existing service delivery that contribute to the difficulties encountered by the target group. (Author abstract)

Hargrave, J
Commonwealth initiatives: early investment.
In: Children, Young People and Communities: the Future is in Our Hands Conference - papers. Canberra, ACT: Australian Institute of Criminology, 2001, 6p, Online only

http://www.aic.gov.au/events/aic%20upcoming%20events/2001/cypc.aspx

The role of government in the field of early intervention and strengthening families is addressed in this paper which identifies areas in which the Commonwealth government is involved, including child care, youth interventions, family support services, domestic violence, homelessness, and child support, and describes two programs, the Parenting Payment Intervention Pilot, and The Jobs Education and Training Program. Reference is made to the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy and its role in community support.

Joinking, Anita
Building resilient families.
In: Australian Social Policy Conference, 9-11 July 2003 - Papers. Sydney, NSW: Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, 2003, 9p, Online only (PDF 30 KB)

http://www2.sprc.unsw.edu.au/aspc2003/abstract.asp?PaperID=191

This paper is based on two research projects conducted by Mission Australia over the past 18 months, resulting in the Snapshot reports: 'Families on the Margins' and 'Building Resilient Families'. Both federal and state governments have shown commitment to strengthening families through a number of projects, and federal government also identified the need to build strength in families as a critical element in the context of broader welfare reform. At a macro level, these strategies are absolutely correct in their focus but the real question is whether at a micro level they are reaching those in need. Mission Australia's research identifies a number of family types which are more likely to be socially, economically and geographically isolated. The research focuses mainly on strategies for building resilience in families; and identifies types of support services (including innovative early intervention services and community capacity building services) needed to make a meaningful difference to ensure social inclusion for children. (Author abstract, edited)

Kelly, L; Vnuk, M
Linking early intervention programs to training and work pathways.
In: 8th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne, 12-14 February 2003: proceedings. Melbourne, Vic: Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2003, 7p, figure. Online only (PDF 37 KB)

http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/afrc8/kelly.pdf

This paper covers an approach of collaboration between two program areas in the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS) to jointly fund and support community based early intervention programs, and to integrate these with initiatives that focus on pathways to education and employment.

Martin, Graham
The application of the promotion, prevention and early intervention framework to severe conduct disorder.
Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health (AeJAMH) v.2 no.3 Nov 2003: 4p, Online only (PDF 21 KB)

http://auseinet.flinders.edu.au/journal/vol2iss3/martin.pdf

This editorial presents the story of Chad, a 12 year old boy with birth trauma, early physical difficulties, poor social skills, learning problems, a tendency to impulsive violence and his referral to a child guidance clinic. The author traces the events of Chad's experiences and how much of his therapy seemed ineffective. He questions whether interventions could have produced consistent change, and argues that there is a need for family education and support with improvement in parenting skills. The author suggests that Chad's parents could have been advised to use Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, a comprehensive behaviourally based program.

Newman, Louise; Stevenson, Caroline
Parenting and BPD: the need for early intervention.
In: Ninth Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, November 2003: Many Voices, Many Choices - ACCAN papers and presentations. Sydney, NSW: Department of Community Services, 29p, Online only (Powerpoint presentation in PDF format 689K)

http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/42706/20040617-0000/www.community.nsw.gov.au/documents/accan/presentations/1S6C-1.pdf

The presenters look at definitions, features, and causal factors of borderline personality disorder (BPD), and at issues raised when parents have BPD. They show how trauma can be reenacted in the relationship with the infant, and the implications of early emotional trauma for children. Findings from research which explored mother-infant interaction and self perceptions of parenting are summarised, and reference made to a program that might be helpful, Watch Wait and Wonder (WWW).

Prichard, P; Polglase, L
Good Beginnings Program: National Home Visiting and Parenting Project: innovative programs responding to families and communities.
In: Children, Young People and Communities: the Future is in Our Hands Conference - papers. Canberra, ACT: Australian Institute of Criminology, 2001, 5p, Online only (24 KB)

http://www.aic.gov.au/events/aic%20upcoming%20events/2001/cypc.aspx

The Good Beginnings Program, a national home visiting and parenting project, is described in this paper which discusses: professional and volunteer home visiting; the importance of using a community development model when considering service delivery in high needs communities; fathering programs; Prison Parenting Program; and reasons for the success of the Good Beginnings Program.