Their Futures Matter

NSW reforms for outcomes
Wednesday 25 July, 1150 – 1210


Tahn O’Brien
Their Futures Matter

Their Futures Matter (TFM) followed a review of the OOHC in NSW (undertaken by David Tune AO) in response to the growing number of children entering the system despite increasing investment. It was clear that although FACS had responsibility for responding to children at significant risk of harm, it did not have control some of the key drivers including mental health, domestic violence and parental drug and alcohol abuse.

Their Futures Matter takes an investment approach in order to deliver improved outcomes for vulnerable children and families.

2017 saw the implementation of Intensive family preservation and restoration models across NSW. Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN)® and Functional Family Therapy – Child Welfare (FFT-CW)® are evidence-based models that treat the underlying causes of harm and trauma and aim to keep families together by reducing entries into out of home care and increasing exits from out of home care. The models have already been shown to be successful with families internationally.

The home and community-based support services are being delivered by healthcare professionals in priority locations across NSW. Vulnerable children and families referred to the service will receive counselling and support to develop positive ways to problem solve and build a safer home environment.

Over 900 places will be available each year for children and families, half of which will be devoted to Aboriginal children and families. Uptake of these models have been very positive. As at 11 December 2017, 383 referrals had been accepted, including 117 Aboriginal families.

Other work under TFM includes the Permanency Support Program, with a renewed focus on preservation and restoration work with families, or where this is not possible, permanency outside the system with family or through adoption.