Brighter Futures is an early intervention program that is currently delivered by the non-government sector and Community Services. It is designed to build the resilience of vulnerable families with children aged up to nine years of age.
Brighter Futures connects families with suitable support services. This early support aims to prevent problems from escalating to crisis point.
Under Keep Them Safe, additional funding of $8.7 million a year has been allocated to non-government Brighter Futures lead agencies to increase the number of families in the program.
In May 2011, the Minister for Family and Community Services announced revised program parameters as follows:
- Community Services will deliver early intervention services to families who have been assessed as being at risk of significant harm, through the newly named Stronger Families program
- the engagement period will be reduced from 90 days to 30 days
- families will participate in Brighter Futures or Stronger Families for between eight and 18 months, with a maximum of two years.
- NGOs will deliver the Brighter Futures program to families whose children have not been assessed as being at risk of significant harm, but whose high needs place the children at risk of entering or re-entering the child protection system
- a transfer of $10 million in funding from Community Services to the non-government sector for delivery of innovative early intervention services
- Brighter Futures referral pathways will be streamlined to allow direct referrals to lead agencies.
More details on Brighter Futures/Stronger Families is available on the Community Services website.