Family preservation and restoration models

Their Futures Matter is implementing new evidence-based intensive family preservation and restoration models aimed at keeping families together and targeting the causes of harm and neglect. The NSW Government selected these models because they are:

  • relationship-based and work with all members of the family to build support structures to better sustain the benefits of the program following completion
  • inclusive of community and kinship connections
  • delivered in the home and within the community rather than in a clinical setting
  • based on evidence, having been implemented in other jurisdictions.

Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect

Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN®) was developed at the Medical University of South Carolina to address underlying trauma that results in harm to children, young people and families.

It is a 24/7 home-based treatment model for families with substantiated cases of physical abuse and/or neglect of children and young people between six and 17 years. Services are provided to all family members. The model targets children where a report of physical abuse and/or neglect has been received within 180 days of the referral. Although referrals are received for children aged six years and over, all younger and older siblings in the referred child’s family also receive the service.

The intervention is provided to the family for a period of six to nine months depending on the needs of the family.

The MST-CAN® model:

  • is a treatment for high-risk children and their families. It targets families where the children experience physical abuse and/or neglect
  • addresses the multiple factors known to be related to physical abuse and/or neglect across the key behavioural systems embedded within the family
  • seeks to promote behavioural change in the family’s natural environment, using the strengths of each aspect of their life (e.g. family, peers, school, neighbourhood, kinship, support networks) to facilitate change
  • trains staff and provides them with protocols and quality assurance of the service response. This includes working with the family to overcome risk factors leading to abuse and/or neglect of the child(ren)
  • treatments include Prolonged Exposure for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Reinforcement-Based Treatment for adult substance abuse
  • uses and develops the family’s broader social and family network as part of the service approach.

For more information, visit the MST-CAN® website.

Functional Family Therapy through Child Welfare

Functional Family Therapy through Child Welfare (FFT-CW®) was developed in Washington and has been implemented in several United States jurisdictions.

FFT-CW® is a home-based treatment model for families with substantiated physical abuse and/or neglect of a child or young person aged between 0 and 17 years by providing a family therapy-focused model for high risk families. FFT-CW® addresses the underlying trauma that results in harm to children, young people and families.

The FFT-CW® model

  • is a home and community-based treatment model for families with substantiated physical abuse and/or neglect of a child or young person aged between 0 and 17 years
  • provides a family therapy-focused model for high risk families
  • addresses child abuse and neglect, substance abuse, mental illness, school difficulties, and history of out-of-home care or involvement with the NSW child protection system
  • is focused on engaging with the family’s broader social environment
  • delivers a comprehensive service to all family members, after assessing the abuse dynamics within the family
  • develops each family’s social and community networks which are considered a central component of the service response.

For more information, visit the FFT-CW® website.

The Future System – pillars of the reform

Our vision is to create a coordinated service system that delivers evidence-based, wraparound supports for children and families to transform their life outcomes.