Supporting families in the Northern Territory

Ensuring children are protected from abuse and neglect is a crucial part of Save the Children Australia’s work.

That’s why we run an Intensive Family Support Service in the Northern Territory to help parents with complex problems meet the emotional, developmental and physical needs of their children.

Why providing family support is important

In the Northern Territory, reports of suspected child abuse and neglect continue to rise. Many families have complex and chronic needs, with multiple risk factors such as domestic and family violence; parental mental health problems; family homelessness and precarious housing; parental drug and alcohol problems; and intergenerational trauma.

Save the Children’s Intensive Family Support Services

Our Intensive Family Support Services (IFSS) program is available to Aboriginal and non-Indigenous families with childrenfrom birth to 12 years, where there has been substantiated neglect or a high risk of neglect.

IFSS works with whole families. We support them to access appropriate specialist services such as drug and alcohol, domestic violence and mental health services. Families are mentored in their homes and local communities to develop and enhance their parenting skills, many for up to a year.

We work in Wadeye and Darwin’s urban Aboriginal communities, including Palmerston. Ninety percent of our IFSS Team are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

How we know we’re helping families

Families involved in the IFSS program receive flexible, practical and intensive support that is tailored to their individual needs, helping to create long term change. In the last 12 months, we’ve received a significant increase in referrals, reinforcing the value of this program.

Who makes our program possible

Our Intensive Family Support Services program is funded by the Australian Governmentand run in partnership with the Northern Territory Department for Children and Families and the Parenting Research Centre.

Intensive Family Support is part of Save the Children’s national Parenting Support program which includes support, training, courses, events and case management for parents across Australia.