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Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks (CFARNs)

Key deliverables

  • CFARNs will form part of the child protection system to protect children from before birth until 2 years of age
  • The families of children identified as at-risk will be targeted for intervention and support
  • Local assessments of needs (LANs) will enable better planning and support services to meet the needs of local families
  • Aboriginal families will be prioritised for CFARNs as will National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) recipients

Many children and their families who are the subject of notifications would benefit from receiving early intervention services. By strengthening families, later or further progression into the child protection system may be avoided. 

Our goals

In July 2017, 3 pilot CFARNs will begin in the Adelaide metropolitan area, with a fourth regional pilot site in Mount Gambier to begin in the second half of 2017. 

CFARNs will provide a targeted intervention response for families with children in the first 1000 days (pre-birth to 2 years of age) who are notified to the Child Safety Pathway with concerns regarding neglect or abuse. 

Families will be referred to CFARNs for comprehensive assessment and planning for tailored support. 

How we will know we are making a difference

The Early Intervention Research Directorate will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of CFARNs. Other indicators will include: 

  • the number of families and children referred from the Child Safety Pathway who engage with services
  • a reduction in the number of families requiring child protection services
  • improved outcomes for children shown in the Australian Early Development Census
  • enhanced capacity for parents to care for their children and improved child-parent attachment
  • staff, user and stakeholder feedback. 
For more details about CFARNs, download the A Fresh Start progress report (PDF 1.3MB)


Reform Implementation team

Email: CPReform [at] sa.gov.au