Referring into Brighter Futures
SDN Brighter Futures is a government-funded voluntary program that delivers targeted early intervention for families at high risk of entering the child protection system.
We work with families before their problems reach a crisis point, with the aim to keep children living safely at home and to reduce the likelihood of future problems. Through quality children’s services, parenting programs (group-based and one-on-one) and a focus on parent vulnerabilities, Brighter Futures builds family resilience, promotes healthy child development and reduces the risk of abuse and neglect.
Families can access the full range of services and support they need through a single entry point, providing consistent service and reducing complexity. The length of the program is based on need, but most families receive support for about 12 months with the possibility of continuing for up to two years.
Eligibility for Brighter Futures
Brighter Futures is available to families who are expecting a child or have children up to nine years old. Families are eligible for the program if they have at least one of the following vulnerabilities that, if not addressed, will place children at high risk of entering the child protection system:
- Domestic violence
- Drug or alcohol misuse
- Parental mental health issues
- Lack of parenting skills or inadequate supervision
- Parent(s) with significant learning difficulties or intellectual disability
- Families will be expected to agree to actively participate in the program.
Priority of access
Eligible families are offered access to the Brighter Futures program in order of the following priorities:
- FaCS RoSH referrals
- Families with children under three years old
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families including those who are receiving services through the NSW Health Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Strategy and the Building Strong Foundations program
- Pregnant young women or young parents in out-of-home care and/or leaving out-of-home care
Please note: If the family you are working with has a child at risk of significant harm a report must first be made to the Child Protection Helpline (132 111).
- Call your nearest SDN Brighter Futures office to discuss the potential referral and to ensure that the family meets the eligibility criteria.
- Discuss the Brighter Futures program with the family and provide them with one of our pamphlets.
- If the family would like to proceed, complete a Brighter Futures referral form with them and send it to your nearest SDN Brighter Futures office. The form will require consent to exchange information from the primary carer.
- SDN Brighter Futures will send the referral to FaCS, who will confirm that the family is eligible to begin the Brighter Futures assessment process.
- A Brighter Futures Early Intervention Worker will carry out up to three face-to-face meetings with the family to explain more about the program and conduct an eligibility assessment.
- If the family wants to join the program, they will sign an Agreement to Participate form. The program is voluntary and refusal to participate is not a reason to report suspected risk of significant harm to the Child Protection Helpline.
SDN works in partnership with different services and community members to provide tailored and effective support for families. Your ongoing participation in supporting the family to reach their goals is important.
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