Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New program to keep children safe in their families

The Australian Government today announced the organisations in each State and Territory which will share in $9.3 million over three years under a new program to address drug and alcohol problems in families and build safe and secure home environments for children.

Kids in Focus – Family Drug Support will be delivered by one organisation in each state and territory to work with families where there are drug and alcohol issues to keep children safe.

The new specialist services will provide flexible support including:

  • intensive one-on-one parenting support and counselling in the home;
  • group workshops and education sessions;
  • aftercare support for parents who have left rehabilitation services; and
  • ante-natal and post-natal support for pregnant women with dependency problems.

Each Kids in Focus service will help parents to access specialised drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation providers where required. Services will also offer a range of activities and counselling directly to children to help them participate fully in school, extracurricular activities and have stronger relationships with friends and family.

As well, each of the new specialist services will provide state-wide telephone support to other organisations working with vulnerable families, to help them better identify and address drug and alcohol issues.

Drug and alcohol misuse is a leading risk factor for child abuse and neglect. Many children in the child protection system have at least one parent with a drug and/or alcohol problem.

Children’s safety and wellbeing is paramount. A key objective of this new program is to act early and work with families to address problems before they escalate.

Kids in Focus-Family Drug Support is a national initiative under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020.

The new Kids in Focus specialist services are:

State/Territory Organisation Location Funding over three years
ACT Barnardos Australia Downer $300,000
New South Wales Benevolent Society Redfern
Northern Territory CatholicCare Darwin Berrimah
Alice Springs
Queensland Gold Coast Drug Council Inc West Burleigh
South Australia Centacare Catholic Family
Gilles Plains
Elizabeth Park
Tasmania Anglicare Tasmania
Victoria Odyssey House Victoria Richmond
Western Australia Women’s Health Services East Perth