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 In less than six months, AnglicareSA’s intensive pilot program for those at risk of having their children removed has enabled 43 children to remain safely with their families.

So far, the program has engaged 15 families with 54 children — with an 80 per cent success rate of keeping children safely in the care of their families.

If this success rate is maintained over 12 months, savings of $10 million could flow to the State Government and the South Australian economy. The outcomes for family will be immeasurable.

Funded by the State Government, the $3 million Safe Kids, Families Together program commenced in August 2019 and will engage 46 families and about 138 children annually for two years.

AnglicareSA CEO Peter Sandeman said based on current progress, the expected results for the full two years of the program could be savings of $26 million.

“The pilot is working well and is clearly demonstrating that given the opportunity, families can make changes, find their own solutions and flourish,” Mr Sandeman said.

“The families we work with love and want the best for their children. 

“If children can remain safely with their birth family, then that’s by far the best place for them.”

AnglicareSA’s intensive pilot program has enabled 43 children to remain safely with their families.

About Safe Kids, Families Together

The program was co-designed with key experts to ensure vulnerable families have the right supports in place to manage complex issues, and hopefully keep their family together. It engages families who have multiple complexities and trauma histories and are at risk of having their children removed.

Specialist support staff give families intensive, face-to-face, in-home contact, and build on existing international evidence-based services, such as HomeBuilders in the US, which demonstrates high outcomes of children staying safely with their families 12 months after intervention. There is then a lower intensity six-month period of follow up.

Mr Sandeman said research and overseas experience shows us that intensive family support is effective.

“There is much to be done to turn around a system in crisis — the number of children and young people in out-of-home care continues to climb and we want to reverse this trend,” he said.

“It is clear from our work at AnglicareSA that many families faced with the risk of losing their children will work hard to get back on track, and this program helps them do just that.”

Over the next two years the program’s success could see savings of $26m flow to the State Government.

Mr Sandeman said that AnglicareSA, in partnership with the State Government, are absolutely committed to having a real impact on families and children at risk of removal.

Safe Kids, Families Together is a vital first step and continued government funding and support will enable us to drive long-term change.”

“We want to strengthen and empower families to enable them to keep their children safe at home – now and over the long term.”

AnglicareSA, the Department for Child Protection and the Early Intervention Research Directorate are working collaboratively to deliver the program.