About the South Eastern and Northern Sydney Family Referral Service (FRS)

FRS Barnados logo

The South Eastern and Northern Sydney Family Referral Service (FRS) works with families with children 0-18 years and young people up to 24 years. We provide an intake, assessment and referral service to vulnerable children, families and young people throughout the CESPHN region. We are available for intake 8am-6pm Monday to Friday where an intake worker will take the family’s details over the phone and contact them within 48-72 hours. Providing the FRS contact details to patients, so they can self refer, is also a common way for services to help families access support for complex social issues.

Referrals are received from government agencies such as police, schools and health services, and also non-government agencies and private organisations. The main presenting issue within all demographics is domestic violence. From our exposure and reputation over the last three and a half years, people are referring themselves to access support around escaping domestic violence or to be linked to services to help them keep themselves and their children safe.

We rely heavily on working in partnerships with the community agencies to provide these families with the most holistic assessment and referral service. Primary health practitioners often have strong relationships with their patients and as well as referring to our service, under the new Chapter 16A legislation, can provide much needed information to the FRS to guide the referral plan to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of the children in our communities. We also recognise that primary health services may be the only services that vulnerable families frequent which highlights the importance of working together to meet these families’ needs.

For further information on the Family Referral Service please call our intake number on 1800 066 757.

Article submitted by Rebecca Coote, Program Manager South Eastern Region, South Eastern and Northern Sydney Family Referral Service