Intensive Family Support Service: helping services work more effectively to improve client outcomes

The Parenting Research Centre is helping Northern Territory service providers in non-government organisations implement the Australian Government Intensive Family Support Service (IFSS).

IFSS is an evidence-based service that supports families and addresses child neglect. It aims to help families keep children in their homes, in their communities and out of the child protection system. IFSS is available to Indigenous and non-Indigenous families with children aged up to 12 years.

Through structured service delivery, IFSS targets families with a risk of recurring child neglect and focuses on teaching parents and carers the following skills:

  • home safety and supervision skills
  • basic physical needs
  • preventing and treating illnesses and parental health-care skills
  • positive and effective parent-child interactions
  • maximising child participation in school or early childhood development.

Our implementation capacity support team offers on-the-ground support to the local workforce, and structured support that builds organisational capacity. Our approach is tailored to facilitate effective implementation and to help families reach the specific outcomes of IFSS.

We work with teams at local sites including managers, team leaders and supervisors, and offer direct field support to IFSS workers. Our involvement includes:

  • specialised training in clinical practice
  • on-the-job coaching
  • support to develop data collection systems
  • tools to monitor client outcomes
  • support to evaluate the program
  • support to develop a continuous quality assurance system and accountability structure.

A central implementation team, supported by our staff, meets regularly to discuss the needs of all stakeholders involved in IFSS and to plan for and resolve implementation risks that arise in this complex setting.


  • Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation
  • CatholicCare NT
  • Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Inc.
  • Lutheran Community Care
  • NPY Women’s Council
  • Save the Children Australia
  • Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation

Visit the IFSS website.

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.