'Putting Families First': Bolstering protective factors that reduce re-offending in Victoria

chatting on campus

Putting Families First (PFF) is an innovative way of working with mothers and young people returning to the community after a period of justice custody. The program offers a new way of delivering services and supports by working with the whole family, rather than just individuals with justice involvement. This is an intervention from the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing and Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety.

CEI is proud to partner with these departments on this important initiative, harnessing research evidence indicating that re-offending risk can also be reduced through interventions that bolster protective factors, including improved family functioning and healthier relationships.

Our team is applying our expertise in implementation science and co-design to develop a tailored approach to service delivery across two different areas: one regional and one metropolitan. We are facilitating co-design work with over-represented community groups by assisting them to distil common practice elements that make their work with families culturally safe and effective.

CEI will also lead the development of a practice module aiming to enhance how frontline staff engage with families. This intervention seeks to make each interaction more effective and to improve collaboration across multi-disciplinary teams  supporting a single family. The module will capture key practices that optimise program delivery including team culture, practitioner skills, adherence to evidence-based practice and techniques, and structured implementation and evaluation. This module will enshrine ways of working that empower each family’s Lead Practitioner to provide a consistent, single point of contact to address their unique needs through collaboration and coordination with specialist service providers.

Our team is committed to supporting the effective roll-out of this evidence-based intervention, using implementation science to proactively identify enablers and potential barriers and building team capability to address them. We are excited to understand the potential impact of this collaboration on some of the most vulnerable families in the Victorian community.