CYFS, Counselling Service

26 Sep 2008 questionsarchive

A question put forward to the Minister for Families and Communities regarding Children, Youth and Family Services (CYFS).

I.     Can the Minister for Families and Communities advise whether Children, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) have brokerage funds for counselling services?

II.    What level of funding is available?

III.  (a) Which providers have received funding; and
       (b) How much has each received?

Answer Date: 16/10/2008

The Minister for Families and Communities has provided the following information:

Children, Youth and Family Services changed its name to Families SA on 1 June 2006.

The Government has a strong commitment to ensuring that the mental health needs of young people are met. Families SA, Department for Families and Communities (DFC) has psychological services to ensure appropriate responses are facilitated for young people who are entering care or who are in care.

For the most part, Families SA’s Psychological Services Branch provides assessment, consultation and advice regarding young people and families involved with the department via Court-related children’s protection or youth justice matters. It also provides therapeutic interventions for some children in community residential care and transitional accommodation, with other children being referred to appropriate external service providers.

Child Adolescent Mental Health Services, a division of Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service Inc (CYWHS), receives referrals from Families SA for therapy and provides priority access as per the Government’s agreement for “Rapid Response: Whole of government services for children and young people under the Guardianship of the Minister”.

Second Story Mental Health Services, the youth section of CYWHS, provides a health service to young people who are detained in youth training centres, which includes ensuring the availability appropriate mental health responses for young people in secure care.

Some specialist therapeutic counselling is also provided through the Child Protection Services located at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre.

As per the Keeping Them Safe funding agreements, Children’s Protection Services at Flinders Medical Centre and the Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service provide therapeutic interventions upon referral by Families SA case managers to children and young people under care and protection and Guardianship orders, with particular priority given to Aboriginal children.

The Families SA budget of $3.647 million for Psychological Services includes staff salaries (33 full-time equivalent staff) and $610,000 for private, external service providers for both psychological assessments and the provision of therapeutic services. This is an allocation from the Families SA Children’s Payments Budget.

All private psychologists are members of a Private Provider Panel. The Private Provider Panel is made up of psychologists who have applied, been assessed and approved via a procurement process to provide psychological services to clients of Families SA.
In 2006-07, $359,161.86 was expended on psychological assessments and $139,327.60 on therapy by private psychology providers.

Families SA Psychological Services funding is for psychological services only. Families SA District Centres (DC) occasionally engage private therapists, such as social workers and psychotherapists, to provide specific services to children and young people. This funding is managed by individual DC Managers.

There are also funds available for counselling via funded brokerage of the Commonwealth funded Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP), which is available only for young people aged 16 to 18 years. It is for support in and around independent living and to address issues around homelessness.