Family by family: evaluation report 2011-12

8 Oct 2012



Family by Family is a radical new response to the problem of too many families stressed and in crisis, and too few families with the supports to thrive. “More and more families are experiencing unhealthy levels of stress in their lives, with some studies suggesting up to 91%. The cost of this to society is truly significant”, said Carolyn Curtis, Director of Family by Family.

“Family is our most significant developmental setting, shaping who we are, how we feel, what we do, and the ways in which we interact. Our wellbeing, and that of the community, is tied to how families fare. Family stress impacts our physical & mental health, social relationships, educational performance, employment, and income. Without strong support from friends, family and neighbours, stress can overwhelm a family. Family breakdown, domestic violence, substance misuse, child abuse and neglect are all too common consequences”.

Family by Family finds and coaches families who have been through tough times and come out the other side, and links them up with families who are struggling would like something to change. Families are the resource in Family by Family, with professionals taking an indirect role: motivating, prompting and problem solving with family pairs, rather than assessing, diagnosing or directing family change.

“This report confirms that we can’t solve today’s problems with the same kind of thinking that created them in the first place. We need to be radical in how we approach big knotty social problems such as child protection”.

Family by Family improves outcomes for families by recruiting those in genuine need of support. The report demonstrates that this model improves family interaction and health, and has significant positive impacts on a child’s development by strengthening attachment between parent and child. The Premier will launch the report, along with a new documentary sharing stories from family link ups, at 4.30pm at the Adelaide Festival Centre. He will be joined by 100 families from Playford and Marion, as well as key policy makers, not-for-profits, and leading business representatives.

Family by Family was developed by The Australian Centre for Social Innovation in partnership with Families SA. It is supported by the SA Department for Education & Child Development, SA Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, Uniting Communities, Playford Communities for Children Plus, Anglicare SA, Playford Alive and Wyatt Benevolent Institution.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at 

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