Victoria's Child FIRST and IFS differential response system : progress and issues

Lonne, Bob, Brown, Gerry, Wagner, Ingrid, & Gillespie, Kerri (2015) Victoria's Child FIRST and IFS differential response system : progress and issues. Child Abuse & Neglect, 39, pp. 41-49.

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Differential response has long been utilized by statutory child protection systems in Australia. This article describes the advent and history of Victoria's differential response system, with a particular focus on the Child FIRST and IFS programme. This program entails a partnership arrangement between the Department of Human Services child protection services and community-based, not-for-profit agencies to provide a diverse range of early intervention and prevention services. The findings of a recent external service system evaluation, a judicial inquiry, and the large-scale Child and Family Services Outcomes Survey of parents/carers perspectives of their service experiences are used to critically examine the effectiveness of this differential response approach. Service-user perspectives of the health and wellbeing of children and families are identified, as well as the recognized implementation issues posing significant challenges for the goal of an integrated partnership system. The need for ongoing reform agendas is highlighted along with the policy, program and structural tensions that exist in differential response systems, which are reliant upon partnerships and shared responsibilities for protecting children and assisting vulnerable families. Suggestions are made for utilizing robust research and evaluation that gives voice to service users and promotes their rights and interests.

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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 80867
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: child abuse and neglect, differential response, parental views, program evaluation, service experience
DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.08.003
ISSN: 0145-2134
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700) > Social Program Evaluation (160703)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700) > Social Work not elsewhere classified (160799)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Child Abuse & Neglect. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Child Abuse & Neglect, [VOL 39 (2015)] DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.08.003
Deposited On: 21 Jan 2015 23:52
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2015 17:58

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