Services help families cope with Christmas stress

Queensland families struggling to cope this Christmas can access a range of programs and services designed to keep children safe and help keep parents on track.

Minister for Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs Leanne Linard said Christmas can be tough for many families due to increases in expenses, school holidays and family dynamics, but help is always on hand.

“Our 17 Family and Child Connect services are ready to support families who need some extra assistance or advice so they can enjoy what should be a special time of year,” Ms. Linard said.

“In 2020-2021, the Family and Child Connect services received 33,049 enquiries, including more than 5,000 calls direct from parents, for support on a wide range of issues from managing children’s behaviour to addressing violence in the home.”

The Department of Children also operates 43 Intensive Family Support services that provide more intensive supports for vulnerable families and 33 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services to support First Nations families.

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“Both of these specialist services are also ready and able to respond to families experiencing crises this Christmas and who need some more intensive support,” Ms. Linard said.

“In 2020-21, the Intensive Family Support services received 6,304 referrals, and the Family Wellbeing Services received 4,597 referrals.

“Every call we take, or referral we receive, is another family we can help cope with life’s problems, protect children and young people, and maintain family wellbeing.

“Evidence shows that these services are working to prevent more children from entering the child safety system and build stronger families.”

Ms. Linard said every family faced challenges, but help was always just a phone call away.

“I want every Queensland parent and carer to know that they can call 13 FAMILY (13 32 64) for free, confidential advice year-round, and that this service is unlimited. Don’t wait until it’s too late – please reach out now,” she said.

“Thank you also to the staff who work tirelessly to help keep Queensland children and young people safe, and support families in their times of need.”  

For more information call 13 FAMILY (13 32 64) or visit www.familychildconnect.org.au

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