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Early Intervention & Placement Prevention
The Early Intervention & Placement Prevention program (EIPP) provides support to vulnerable children, young people and families to stop problems escalating and to reduce the likelihood of children and young people entering or remaining in child protection and out-of-home care.
The EIPP program consists of three sub-programs:
- Child, youth and family services
- Intensive family support
- Intensive family preservation
These provide a range of services – from lower-level parenting and youth support to intensive family and youth interventions to prevent children and young people coming into care.
Pending a review, the program also includes a group of services ranging from child sexual assault and specialist domestic violence services to statewide, issue-based and telephone counselling services.
why is this program important?
The report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW pointed to the need to get help to vulnerable families earlier so they do not escalate into the statutory child protection system.
In response to the report, the Keep Them Safe plan to improve the safety and wellbeing of children and young people was developed.
A key element of Keep Them Safe is the development of stronger partnerships with the non-government sector, including a larger role for the sector in providing child and family services.
This change will allow Community Services to focus its resources on those children and families who need a statutory response. It will also allow families who need other help and services to get the right supports sooner, without having to be reported to Community Services.
The three EIPP sub programs are targeted towards different groups:
- Child, youth and family support services will assist families with children and/or young people aged 0-18, who are experiencing difficulties and need assistance but are assessed as below the threshold for risk of significant harm (ROSH).
- the Intensive family support services will assist families with children and young people aged 0-15, who are assessed as being at risk of significant harm, and are at risk of placement in out-of-home care.
- the Intensive family preservation services will assist families with children and young people who are further up the scale and assessed as being at imminent risk of placement in out-of-home care.
Specialist services funded under EIPP also assist children who have experienced sexual assault and women and children at risk of domestic violence.
what services does the program deliver?
Support provided under the EIPP program is targeted towards the particular issues that a family or young person is experiencing and the level of risk of harm.
Early intervention support might consist of one or more sessions with a counsellor during which needs are assessed and an appropriate response planned.
This response could range from advice and referrals to connect with other community services (e.g. supported playgroups).
Or it may involve developing and coordinating a case plan under which the family is provided with a mix of services.
These may include counselling; home visiting; facilitated support groups (eg for post natal depression) and practical assistance (eg programs to improve parenting skills and household/money management).
Early intervention services for young people could also include advocacy (e.g. court support, mediation with parents and schools,) and skills focussed groups and training (e.g. social skills and budgeting).
Under the intensive family support and family preservation models, children, young people and their families are provided with intensive caseworker support that may initially involve caseworkers being available to families 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Brokerage is also available to purchase goods and specialist supports.
how does it work?
The services are being delivered by over 430 non-government services throughout the state which were previously funded under the Community Services Grants program and are experienced in providing direct support services to children and young people and their families.
Under new funding, 80 services across the state will provide expanded early intervention services and 37 services will provide intensive family support and preservation packages.
Families and young people will be able to refer themselves to early intervention services while other community and government agencies will also make referrals. Community Services local Community Service Centres will make referrals for the more intensive support packages.