Child FIRST
Child & Family Information Referral
Support Team
 4 Child FIRST Alliances in the North
West Catchment area.

Catchment Within N&WRegion
Child and Family
Services Alliance
Catchment
(LGAs)
Facilitating
Partner
Child FIRST
Contact Number
Brimbank Melton
Child and Family
Services Alliance
Brimbank
Melton
Mackillop Family
Services
1300 138 180
Hume Moreland
Integrated Family
Services Alliance
Hume
Moreland
Kildonan
UnitingCare
1300 786 433
North East
Metropolitan
Child and Family
Services Alliance
Banyule
Darebin
Nillumbik
Whittlesea
Yarra
Children’s
Protection Society
9450 0955
Western
Child and Family
Services Alliance
Hobson's Bay
Maribyrnong
Melbourne
Moonee Valley
Wyndham
Anglicare Victoria
1300 775 160
Role of Hume Moreland Child
FIRST

HM Child FIRST is the central and coordinated intake
service for Family Services (DHS funded Family
Services program)
 Provides Information & advice & initial screening
 Receives referrals from Child Protection,
professionals, family & friends
 Undertakes Initial Assessment to assess level of
vulnerability of children and young people & makes a
decision about appropriateness for Family Services
 Facilitates referrals to other appropriate services
Partner Agencies












Registered child and family Services agencies
Kildonan UnitingCare (Facilitating partner)
Anglicare Hume Moreland
UnitingCare Sunshine and Broadmeadows
Merri Community Health Services
Sunbury Community Health Centre
Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA)
Other organisations
Department Human Services (Child Protection, Family Services)
Dianella Community Health Centre
Moreland City Council
Hume City Council
Vulnerability Factors

Level of Basic Care being received
 Presence of instability
 Evidence of developmental delay & high needs in children/young
people (related to previous present traumatic events/family
circumstances & challenging behaviours)
 Nature of parent/carer capacity to care for children/young people & the
extent to which these affect parent’s capacity to act protectively
 Nature of child-parent relationship
 Level of social connectedness (level social isolation/lack of support):
 Evidence of previous reluctance to engage with support services &
lack of capacity/motivation to make positive changes as an indicator of
potential for cumulative harm – leading to the need for heightened
vigilance
 Anticipated escalation of needs & impacts on children’s wellbeing
without timely intervention of service response within casework
framework
 How age stage gender and culture affects impacts of vulnerability in
each of the above areas.
Community Based Child
Protection Workers









Available to support and resource the DHS Funded Family
Services sector (HMIFS/HM Child FIRST)
2 X Full Time CBCPWs
Based part time in the HMIFS agencies and part time at DHS
Collaborative partnership to support vulnerable families
Provide consultation and advice to Child FIRST staff and Local
Intake staff, active holding workers & Case Managers
Facilitate Referrals from Child Protection to Child FIRST
Facilitate reports to Child Protection from Child FIRST/Family
Services
Facilitate and support the engagement of families known to
Child Protection with Family Services
Participation in Community education activities
When Family Services is appropriate
Significant parenting problems affecting
the child’s wellbeing and development
When Child Protection is appropriate
Significant physical abuse or nonaccidental injury to a child or young
person
Significant social or economic
Significant family violence or parental
disadvantage which may impact on child’s substance misuse, psychiatric illness or
care or development
intellectual disability - where there is a
likelihood of significant harm to the child
Significant family conflict including
family breakdown
A disclosure of sexual abuse by a child or
witness to that abuse
Families under pressure due to family
Serious emotional abuse and ill treatment
member’s physical or mental illness,
of a child impacting on the child’s safety,
bereavement, disability or substance abuse stability and development
Young, isolated or unsupported families
(Refer 2.13 HMIFS Flyer for
Professionals)
Persistent neglect, poor care or lack of
appropriate supervision, where there is
likelihood of significant harm to the child
Where a child’s actions or behaviour may
place them at risk of significant harm or
the child appears to have been abandoned
Consent




HM Child FIRST & Family Services embrace good
practice information sharing principles for referrals
and service provision in accordance with Privacy Act
2000 & CYFA 2005
The family’s awareness of the referral is highly
desirable
The family’s agreement to participate in a service
response is essential (active holding & casework)
HM Child FIRST/Family Services embrace a
commitment to proactively engage families
Making A Referral
Contact the Families Local Child FIRST
Intake
 Be clear about what your concerns are
 What is the impact on the child’s safety,
stability and development (refer
Vulnerability framework)
 What do you want Family Services to
do

What Happens Next
Once CF assessment complete, Weekly
Allocation meetings take Place (WAM)
 Family is allocated to one of the family
services agencies in the alliance and a
case manager is assigned.
 Family are contacted and H/V set up

What Family Services Do
Assist families to develop practical skills
in caring for their children.
 Provide linkages and advocacy to access
complementary services in the
community such as : family counselling,
education support, Mental health
services, Medical services etc.
 Working collaboratively with the family
and professionals to provide a care plan.

Child Protection
If required we have the resource of
CBCP where there appear to be
significant concerns for the well-being of
the families we work with.
 If CP are already involved we
collaboratively work on a care plan to
support families.
