A study that followed 47 Liverpool and Sadlier families in financial stress over two years has revealed intensive case management and an Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) model increased resilience and parenting confidence.
Of the families surveyed, Anglicare Sydney’s State of Sydney: Out of the Shadows report found:
- 74% experienced an overall improvement in their level of resilience
- 70% experienced improved friendships and social support networks
- 63% experienced improvements in their ability to deal with unforeseen issues, decisions, personal problems and levels of optimism.
- 63% experienced improved quality in their family relationships
“Research by UNSW estimates more than 3 million people are living in poverty. This includes about 739,000 children. These families often experience a complex range of issues. Financial hardship, physical and mental health issues, relationship breakdown, and domestic and family violence are often interlinked,” Michael Mittwollen, Anglicare Executive Manager, explains.
“Supporting families out of such complex set of challenges requires a nuanced, targeted and layered approach. We need a more relational approach that takes the time to walk with families through their struggles rather than one that is merely transactional.”
The model is something that Anglicare Sydney has been trialling in Liverpool and Sadlier for the past eight years.
Instead of families accessing individual programs separately, with separate appointments, waiting times, individual assessments and interventions, the ISD program provides a single-entry point from a Family Support program to a range of program supports.
“Our program focuses on providing supports for parents; developing parental resilience; improving knowledge of parenting and child development; and developing social connections,” says Mr Mittwollen.
“Equipping families to build resilience using a strengths-based, case management model in a supportive family friendly environment can make a significant difference.
“Among the program participants, our report shows significant improvements in perceptions of self and of the future, the ability to plan, manage and engage in goal setting, social interactions or competence, family cohesion, and access to resources.”