Territory Stories

Rebuilding family life in Alice Springs and Central Australia: the social and community dimensions of change for our people



Rebuilding family life in Alice Springs and Central Australia: the social and community dimensions of change for our people


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




Central Australia


This paper has been released by the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress as a constructive contribution to the debate on the social crisis facing Alice Springs and Central Australia. It presents powerful ideas as well as concrete strategies for change that we believe can make a real difference for our people. This papers describes a number of approaches and programs that are already in place in a limited way here in Alice Springs. - Foreword; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).


"Foreword by Helen Kantawara and Stephanie Bell"

Table of contents

Income inequality, low social status and self esteem and the social problems in Alice Springs -- 3. Empowerment and greater control: a Central Australian Family Responsibility Commission -- 4. Early Childhood programs, education attainment, employment and health -- 5. Supported accommodation services and public housing availability in the Alice Springs town area -- 6. Ensure that all primary health care services throughout Central Australia have a Social and Emotional Well-Being Program that includes a Targeted Family Support Service and an Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Program -- 7. Youth Services -- 8. Alcohol Supply Reduction -- 9. Stop the Violence Campaign -- 10. Adult Literacy Campaign.




Stop the violence campaign; School attendance; Education; Mental health; Government policy

Publisher name

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress

Place of publication

Alice Springs


47 pages : chiefly colour illustrations ; 30cm.

File type


Copyright owner

Check within Publication or with content Publisher.

Related links


Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

29 access to an Targeted Family Support Service using a case management approach with social workers and Aboriginal case workers. Like home visitation, this is a core service that we think needs to become part of all Aboriginal community controlled health services. TFSS programs deal with medium to high risk clients in complex situations to help clients manage risks and keep them low. A Differential Response Framework referral process is currently used by the NT government. Many clients are directed to a TFSS program through this process. The NT needs to adopt the Differential Response Framework [DRF] more broadly such as has been pioneered in Victoria and for which there is now evidence of its effectiveness. Basically the DRF means that referrals made to NTCaF can lead to different responses based on the assessment at Central Intake. Some responses will require a formal Child Protection Investigation and possibly statutory intervention. Others require a family assessment conducted by the Child Protection Service itself. Still others can be referred from NTCaF to an Aboriginal community controlled organisation. In our view this should always be an ACCHS, for an assessment within a Targeted Family Support Service. Clients would be high needs families whom NTCaF intake has decided do not need intervention from the Child Protection Service but need assessment from a community based provider without the stigma of the CPS getting in the way. Once these families are further assessed, they may then need to be referred back to the CPS but more often they can be well supported by the TFSS itself. Finally, the TFSS can take referrals directly from the community. The community is the fastest growing referral source for the Congress TFSS which currently is case managing 52 families with a waiting list for others. Key aspects of the TFSS service at Congress are that it: is located in a Social and Emotional Well Being Service along with a community well being team, the Safe and Sober alcohol treatment program and the youth program; is co ordinated by a highly skilled and very experienced child protection social worker; and employs 3 Social Workers and 3 Aboriginal case workers and a Community Based Child Protection Worker.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.