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Integrated Family Support Services

The Integrated Family Support Service (IFSS) consists of the Case Management and Parenting Engagement Programs (PEP). The IFSS unit is managed by the Family Support Services Team Leader, Heli McKellar. The IFSS works with individuals and families residing in the wider Belconnen and Gungahlin regions. Neither of these programs are designed to respond to crisis or moderate to high mental health needs, however, families who present with complex challenges may be accepted into the program/s with the provision that other wraparound supports are in place.

The objectives of the IFSS are that:

  • The IFSS works within the ethos of the UnitingCare Kippax, working within the guidelines of strength-based model.
  • The families’ needs for assistance are viewed through the person/child centred, family focused, and collaborative practice lenses
  • Ensure that families who access this service are included in decision making and empowered to make choices about their participation in the program.
  • Ensure that decision making in relation to IFSS occurs in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Ensure that safety principles are adhered to the course of the regular delivery of the program.

Case Management is about supporting people through free and confidential assistance by providing:

  • Information, referral, support, and advocacy in the areas of health, social inclusion, education, domestic violence, housing, employment and training, and finance etc.
  • Holistic assistance with a view to empower people
  • Assistance with problem-solving and decision-making
  • Information on parenting issues
  • Parenting programs

This program was designed by Uniting Care Kippax (UCK) as a unique alternative to the range of parenting programs offered in the Belconnen and Gungahlin area. While drawing from evidence-based programs, the PEP works closely with individual families in their own homes to assist in the practical application of the advice and guidance offered in formal parenting education.

Families are matched with trained volunteer mentors who will work with them in their own homes in a range of ways to support the development of “good enough” parenting over a period of up to 12 months. These home visits could include in-home modelling of parenting behaviour, providing a listening ear, or supporting the family to choose which services they may like to connect to.

The volunteer mentors will be supported by Parenting Education Officer. Integrated Family Support Services team of UCK will also ensure the provision of the necessary training, resources, and supervision for each volunteer mentor as well as the administration of the program including scheduling of the home visits.

The skills families learn through their engagement with the program will assist in developing parenting skills and capacity and enable them to bring about constructive, lasting, and meaningful change.