Our approach is based on respect for families and their cultural values. In our work with Intensive Family Support Service (IFSS) providers and workers, we are all guided by the following principles:
- Listening to adults and children and to the choices they make. We intentionally elicit and prioritise the views of parents and children. Our planning is grounded in the values and preferences of family members. IFSS workers suggest options that allow parents and children to choose paths that they feel comfortable with.
- Respecting Aboriginal concepts of childhood. We view children as strong, independent people who have the right to make choices and the right to freely explore safe surroundings.
- Promoting culturally competent practice. We support adults and their children in a way that respects their values, preferences, beliefs, culture, identity and community.
- Building on existing strengths. Our planning draws on sources of support that are already available to the families we work with. IFSS workers identify the knowledge, skills and assets of the child and family and their community, then work on building and enhancing those skills and assets.
- Developing skills. IFSS workers encourage parents to develop a wide variety of ‘life skills’. They use ‘teaching interaction’ processes including practice, feedback and homework.
- Working within communities. We provide services and support to adults and their children in the most inclusive and least restrictive settings possible. This enables IFSS workers to be responsive and accessible.
- Engaging the extended family. We acknowledge the role that the extended family plays in shared care. We encourage and embrace children’s attachments within their larger families and communities. Our collaborative approach engages and motivates all members of the family.
- Working collaboratively with services. IFSS workers approach services coorperatively and share responsibility for supporting adults and their children.
- Providing individualised family assessment and support. The IFSS program involves individualised family assessment and tailors services to meet the unique needs of each family.
- Being assertive and persistent. IFSS workers engage in assertive outreach and advocacy. Despite challenges, the workers persist in working with families toward their goals.
- Working towards meaningful outcomes. IFSS workers tie the goals and strategies of services and supports to measurable indicators of success, monitoring progress in terms of these indicators, and revising strategies accordingly.
- Assessing progress and setting goals. We use assessment tools and techniques that focus on the family and their circumstances to ensure they are always working to improve child outcomes. We also engage in ongoing safety assessment and planning.