It’s Child Protection Week

August 30, 2018

Protecting children and vulnerable adults of our services is a joint responsibility of all staff at CatholicCare.

CatholicCare has a Permanency Support Program working with children and young people that are under the care of the minister and where it is no longer safe to live at home. We also provide many services that focus on early intervention support to families going through difficult times and needing extra assistance for a short period of time with the goal of keeping families out of the child protection system.

Child Protection Week is a great time to reflect on the work we do in early intervention and the life long effect this can have for families in need. The case study below is from our Family Referral Service.


The Family Referral Service (FRS) is a six week referral service that links families to support.

The FRS received a referral from a Hospital Social Worker.  Stephanie was 30 weeks pregnant with her second baby. Her husband Luke had recently become unemployed and they were relying on Centrelink payments which was stressful. Stephanie was experiencing depression and felt that she was not connecting with her 2-year-old son. The family had recently moved to the country, and English was their second language.  They had limited social connections and supports.  Stephanie was attending the hospital for her pre-natal check-ups when she became upset.  Stephanie told the Hospital Social Worker about her situation and a referral was made to the FRS.

The Family Referral Worker contacted Stephanie by phone.  They spoke about the things that where worrying Stephanie and they came up with an action plan of support.  The Family Referral Worker contacted a charity who were able to support Stephanie and Luke with second hand baby clothing and equipment such as a cot, double pram and clothes.  They were also referred to a financial counsellor to help them to manage their change in financial circumstances.  As Stephanie and Luke did not have any food in their home they were given access to an emergency relief program for food parcels and food vouchers.  Stephanie was also linked with a Psychologist in her area in her preferred language and a job agency for Luke.  Once Stephanie and Luke had been linked to services that could support them longer term the Family Referral Worker withdrew.

A few months after Stephanie had given birth she contacted her Family Referral Worker as she wanted the times of a local playgroup and a parenting course.  The Family Referral Worker gave Stephanie the contact details for them both.  She shared that Luke had found a new job and the family where much more financially stable.

More information on the services we offer to families can be found here.


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