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2016-2017 Annual Report

From Innovation to Impact

Who we are and where are we now Family Life is an independent, entrepreneurial community service organisation, providing evidence-informed services and support to strengthen families and communities to enable children to be safe and thrive. Family Life has a unique position in the Bayside Peninsula and wider south eastern suburbs of Victoria as a place-based family service organisation working across state and federal jurisdictions for protecting children and vulnerable members of the community (Child Protection, Family Violence, Family Law). To this critical work Family Life brings our focus on achieving healing, growth and wellbeing, transforming lives for stronger communities. Our practice innovations prioritise opportunities to identify vulnerable families, children and young people as early as possible in the development of problems, working flexibly with professionals across universal, secondary and tertiary services. Research as well as state and federal policy reforms recognise


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

the increased complexity of needs amongst our most vulnerable community members. Hence Family Life works with integrated Care Teams collaborating with statutory and non government services for the benefit of the whole family. Our founder’s legacy continues today with our excellent services integrated with community and volunteer programs providing wrap around support for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people and families.

Values Respect

Inclusion Community Empowerment

Our Vision Capable communities Since 2000, Family Life has delivered community engagement and empowerment programs. At the heart of our community organisation is the authentic grass-roots relationships with our people; the people we help and the people of the community. Our whole of community approach is grounded in volunteerism. By caring and taking an interest in others, volunteers support recovery from trauma and family problems as connectors to a community of support. Our approach is trauma-informed, place-based, person driven, family centred, flexible and focused on prevention and early intervention.

Strong families When community members support each other, children and young people grow up in safe and supportive neighbourhoods. Then strong families form where individuals are healthy and resilient. They lead a full life and can overcome personal challenges. They form and sustain positive relationships with family, friends, peers and intimate partners. Individuals are safe and conflict and violence is reduced.

Thriving children At Family Life we believe every child and young person deserves the best possible start in life, and the best place for this to happen is in a nurturing family supported by a caring community. Children will thrive when their physical, mental, emotional and social needs are met. When parents are skilled and confident, they form a warm and secure bond with their children and meet their developmental needs. Parents create a nurturing environment for their children to grow up in, one that is free from violence. Children and young people feel good about themselves and have a strong sense of self-identity.


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Highlights & snapshots



Client cases were provided with a focused intervention

Families, children and young people we helped this year


853 Client cases were Family Violence focused


Volunteers created 12 jobs through social enterprises

PeopleWorx participants provided with work experience and job pathways


Teachers were trained in Trauma Informed Practice




Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Increase in Community Bubs participants


Children and their families helped by SHINE children’s mental health program

67,864 Volunteer community service hours

People added their voice to the Together We Can initiative to reduce family violence across Cardinia Shire



Family members engaged in Family Dispute Resolution


Police L17 reports received for an innovative specialist Family Violence response service

Of parents engaging in one of our Family Support Service programs indicated an improvement in their family relationships

Chair’s Report On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to report that 2016/17 has been another year in which Family Life has made a significant positive impact to the lives of so many of our fellow community members.

Our achievements included: •

We continued our “Together We Can” innovative community initiative in Cardinia. Working with a wide range of community partners, this program provides a concentrated community focus on family violence and works to reach and change root causes including learnt behaviours.

We continued to explore options for redevelopment of the Bluff Road precinct as a Centre for Innovation in partnership with our neighbours and aligned organisations. This followed on from the granting of a 50 year lease from Bayside Council for the land at 197 Bluff Road, upon which our Sandringham service centre resides.

The year was financially challenging, with a loss of $150,867 being incurred. Pleasingly revenue grew from $8.8 M to $9.2 M. However, increases in government contracts did not fully reflect rises in staff costs resulting from award driven changes. In addition, the organisation made several investments in staff to strengthen our capability. These support further growth in our programs, which together with operational efficiencies will deliver a return to surplus in the near term.

Our social enterprise opportunity shops in Highett, Cheltenham, Black Rock and Chelsea, supported by our warehouse in Moorabbin all continued to perform well. Our PeopleWorx program continued to provide employment and training opportunities, supporting a significant number of young people and adults including those with disabilities looking to participate in the community.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank: •

Our CEO Jo Cavanagh, who continues to enthusiastically lead our team and keep the organisation attuned to leading edge thinking across the globe.

• Our dedicated and highly capable executive leadership team and all staff for their ongoing dedication, care of vulnerable clients and their achievements. • The dedicated 350 + volunteers who add value to the agency’s work and community reach. •

All those who have supported Family Life during the year, through donations either financially or in-kind and through participation in our fundraising events; and

The following who provided pro-bono services to assist the agency: Balfe and Webb, HWL Ebsworth, K&L Gates, Malcolm Parks, Herbert Smith Freehills and CE Family Lawyers.

I would also like to thank my Board colleagues volunteers all - for their invaluable contributions and support. As a Board Director and Chair it has been a privilege to work with our CEO Jo Cavanagh and the dedicated staff and to be a part of the positive changes that Family Life brings to so many. Together we continue to “Transform Lives for Stronger Communities”. Len Gill Chair


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

CEO Year in Review Family Life has completed our first year operating as a company limited by guarantee. We are in a process of transitioning our independent community organisation to new ways of working, requiring evidence, data analysis, new technologies and new skills to grow our impact for social change and deliver more benefits for children, young people and families. This year has also drawn one three year forward plan to a successful conclusion and launched the adjacent new plan for 2017-2020. In presenting our highlights and results for this past year these are also the new foundations on which we build. Investment in transferring research and evidence into practice has been well rewarded with our trauma informed project Hopscotch generating improved ways of working with our most vulnerable, including those impacted by family violence. In turn this has also seen us achieve new streams of funding from government. The Victorian Government has recognised Family Life’s track record for innovation and entrepreneurial community embedded programs which help solve social problems, promote wellbeing and deliver both social and economic outcomes. To this we add partnerships for joined up ways of working to better meet community needs and help with service system redesign, effectiveness and efficiencies. Constant review and evolution are the new normal. Our workforce needs an organisational context to support them in their daily work with people in need, people who are distressed, in crisis and need help to achieve personal change. Our leadership team


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

has expanded to support this interface between organisational change and maintaining a highly skilled professional workforce, able and ready to assist clients, families and local communities. With welcome major government reforms to also support, time to reflect and communicate our impact is precious and essential. Hence, I hope you will find in the pages which follow, much to celebrate for delivering on our vision for capable communities, strong families and thriving children. I offer my sincere thanks to the Board, staff, volunteers, community supporters, donors and professional advisors who have helped us achieve outstanding results. Daily we meet the demands of serving the community, whilst we also review, plan and set strategy to steer our way into a future where we can deliver more benefits for families, increase the outcomes achieved, and contribute to positive social change. Jo Cavanagh OAM CEO

Forward Plan 2017-2020 Our Vision:

By 2020, Family Life will report an increased, expanded and high value contribution to improving the social and economic well-being of diverse Australian families.

Our Purpose: Transforming lives for stronger communities. Our Goals:

Our strategic response: Families Benefit

Families have improved social and economic outcomes

Families have improved social and economic outcomes from our model for prevention and earlier intervention, integrated whole of family services and community support.

Evidence and Outcomes

All services are implemented to the requirements for evidence informed practice, transparent performance and measured outcomes.

Social Change

More engaged and capable workforce

Through collaboration and communication we work to support better outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged families and children in diverse communities in Australia.

Knowledge and Skills

Outcomes are achieved by an engaged workforce resourced to deliver the best customer experiences for diverse beneficiaries and stakeholders.


Increase financial stability

We contribute to thought and practice leadership embracing new technologies and approaches to solving complex social problems.


We have built the financial sustainability of our purpose by diversifying income, connecting with empowering networks and ensuring best value business systems and processes.


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Trauma Informed Practice Underpinning Our Services Since 2014 Family Life has developed trauma informed and trauma specific services with training and ‘site certification’ in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), developed by Dr Bruce Perry, through the Child Trauma Academy (CTA), USA.

impact of trauma on children’s development. A specialist Family Life trauma team now work across key programs as part of our Hopscotch project to implement specialist, evidence and trauma informed assessments and interventions with clients.

The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics is a developmentally-informed, biologically-respectful approach to working with at-risk children. The Neurosequential Model is a way to organise a child’s history and current functioning to understand the impact of trauma and informing the best way to respond for repair and growth. For more information please visit our website.

Hopscotch Project

The Hopscotch Project guides knowledge sharing for trauma informed practice across the organisation and community; enabling practice innovation to benefit individuals, families and communities. The project aims to support a client journey towards trauma repair (see diagram below).

Trauma informed practice transfers a significant research base into how we work with children, young people, women and men.

In 2016 we expanded service expertise to include the Neurosequential Model of Education (NME) for assisting teachers and schools to understand the

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Stability ke






Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report



ength Strgnitive

Knowledge Exchange

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sory integratio n Sen

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Community Strengthening

ged ren a Child 6 years 1 up to




Parental capacitystrengthening

-regulation Self

Staff Training


Wrap around Holistic services

progress to outcomes



The Hopscotch Project Client Journey


“Family Life …..are enthusiastic, professional and sincere in their purpose of supporting individuals, families and communities and in partnering with Child Trauma Academy to achieve this purpose.” The ChildTrauma Academy, USA

Trauma informed teaching

Our School Focused Youth Services Coordinators have delivered training in trauma informed teaching to over 186 teachers. They have collaborated with community stakeholders with the ongoing Family Life vision for Creating Capable Communities.

“Family Life has been incredibly enthusiastic about taking its knowledge of Trauma Informed Practice into our schools and education communities. There is now a deeper understanding and greater compassion in our teachers and support staff when working with young people affected by trauma. The teachers received the training but the real benefit is that the students have gained allies in their learning” Brendan O’Connell, Executive Officer Bayside Glen Eira Kingston Local Learning and Employment Network. (BGKLLEN)


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Thriving Children Brain development in infancy and early childhood lays the foundation for all future development and wellbeing. Through our suite of infant and family support programs we help parents and carers to achieve healthy relationships and build strong attachments with their children, creating the optimal environment for children to thrive.

Community Bubs

Community Bubs is an outreach support program funded by the Cybec Foundation, Barr Family Foundation and Cabrini Health. The program has been successfully working with parents and babies since 2003 in the Bayside, Kingston and Tootgarook communities. Practitioners work intensively with parents from as early as the third trimester in pregnancy. As an early intervention program we can enable developmental wellbeing for babies and provide specialist interventions to enhance parenting and community engagement. The Hopscotch project has helped us to strengthen the trauma informed community network around each family as a key to providing long term healing relationships of support and caring. Community Bubs now has an even


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

stronger evidence base for delivering lifetime change for some of the most vulnerable babies and parents in communities we serve.

Cradle To Kinder

Cradle to Kinder is a new service in Bayside Peninsula, awarded by the Victorian Government to Family Life in 2017 in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA). Cradle to Kinder is a targeted ante and postnatal support service that provides intensive and longer-term family and early parenting support to vulnerable young mothers, aged under 25 years, and their families, particularly where there has been child protection involvement and parent histories of out-of-home care. This new government program is strongly informed by the years of evidence from Community Bubs families, and underpinned by our trauma framework. Beyond our infant programs, we offer child and adolescent focused support to families. All our services are offered for all members in the family, with specialist counselling, case management,

SHINE Mental Health Program In 2016/17 SHINE supported

230 families therapeutic support services and mediation. We meet families where they live, offering outreach, in home and centre based support. We strongly believe that children thrive when they and their families are visible and connected to capable caring communities. We help families to find the right community connections for them, connecting them to our playgroups, support groups and educational programs and resources in the wider community. Family Life has also embedded the Child Safe Standards into organisation policy and procedure to ensure that the child voice is central to all program planning and interventions at Family Life.

Family Life has delivered SHINE, a federally funded Family Mental Health Support Service for over nine years across Frankston, Dandenong and Casey, supporting the wellbeing of children and young people aged up to 18 years of age. We prioritise support for young people who identify as Indigenous or from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. SHINE offers a combination of group programs, short term and intensive case services for children and young people who are at risk of, or are affected by, mental illness. SHINE supports parents to reduce stress and enables young people to reach their potential. With partners, Family Life work holistically, to support trauma recovery and strengthen mental health and wellbeing. Working as part of the holistic services based at Doveton College, SHINE contributes to the collective effort for changing entrenched disadvantage in Doveton. This includes sharing our Creating Capable Leaders training to develop parents as local leaders and volunteers to initiate community building activities. The Doveton model is recognised by the Victorian Government as an innovative and collaborative approach in their 2017 Free From Violence Prevention Strategy. This holistic collaborative approach is being implemented in other areas in Victoria and under review by the federal government to inform national policy.


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Strong Families Family Life responds to the diverse needs of families, working with service partners to reduce system complexity for clients. Current sector reform and new funding is enabling innovation with service partners including responses to family violence and related problems. Family Life is leading a number of key partnerships delivering on these reforms.

Supporting families

Family Life is funded by the Australian Government for services to support separating families improve their parenting and keep the best interests of the children in focus, including situations where there is family violence. From client feedback reports we know parents feel 23% more confident, after receiving services to work together in the best interests of their children.

Our Children’s Contact Services and Parenting Orders Programs assist separated parents and their children from facilities located at Sandringham, Frankston, Berwick and Cranbourne. This service ensures children are safe during visits with parents whilst helping to rebuild family relationships and reduce the need for court interventions. At the Family Relationship Centre, located at Family Life’s Frankston service centre, and at our Sandringham, Rosebud and Cheltenham hubs, family counselling, dispute resolution, parenting groups and case management services are available. These services wrap around the needs of each family, with the goal of helping them achieve problem resolution, change and wellbeing.

Capable Communities Creating Capable Communities brings teams of professional and volunteer staff together to offer evidence informed strategies to engage the most vulnerable families where they live.

Becoming engaged

Creating Capable Communities translates knowledge into practice to build the social support essential for recovery from trauma and wellbeing. Our teams build local groups where people make friends, learn new skills, grow in confidence, experience neighbours helping each other and can progress to becoming valued volunteers, and increasing their readiness for employment. This change in social status is transformative for adults who have previously not seen themselves as valued members of the community. Parents becoming more engaged in their community brings greater feelings of security for children.


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Volunteers are at the heart of our Family Life ‘whole of family, whole of community approach’ and are essential for recovery from trauma as ‘connectors’ to a community of support. In neighbourhoods where children are known to be doing less well on developmental and learning milestones, Creating Capable Communities activities are designed to include those who are least likely to participate. The activities are targeted to engage those lacking the social support that any family needs to do well. Importantly our approach sees those whom we target for assistance become the volunteers, community leaders and agents for change in their own lives. Our goal is to place service providers into community as enablers and facilitators, for developing local leaders to reduce the need for professional services.

Communities provide safety

Our work with communities is strongly informed by trauma theory, recognising that while trauma disconnects, isolates and destabilises families, community members can operate as key identifiers of vulnerability and risks for children and families. Through community we can provide predictability, structure, safety and nurture for families. We run our programs from a range of community sites including our community houses. For example, at the Family Life Tootgarook Community House, in partnership with Tootgarook Primary School, Creating Capable Communities has delivered a range of activities in 2016/17 with men, women and children to empower community led change. Activities include the Tootgarook Frog Dreaming Men’s group, Coffee Club, Mother Goose, Jive, Jiggle and Jump, Breakfast and After School club and Children’s Week.

Creating Capable Communities reflects the vision of the 2015 Victorian Auditor-General’s Report on Early Intervention Services for Vulnerable Children and Families, and the State Government’s 2017 Roadmap for Reform in that it is trauma informed, place based, person driven, family centred, flexible and focused on prevention and early intervention.


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Family Violence 2016/17 has been a year of reform for responding to family violence in Victoria. Family Life has a long history of responding to family violence with our first men’s groups delivered in 1986 followed by tailored responses for women, children and the whole family.

Range of services

Family Life is funded by federal and state government to provide Men’s Behaviour Change Programs, case management and counselling for men, women and children impacted by family violence. In 2016/17, 853 families were supported through their experience of family violence representing almost a quarter of all Family Life intensive service delivery. In 2017 Family Life and partners were awarded funding for a Therapeutic Demonstration Project for responding to family violence for women and children in the southern suburbs. Our innovation,


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

called Strength2Strength provides victims of family violence with an outreach response delivered by a multidisciplinary team which includes Occupational Therapy, Psychology and Social Work. As well as our intensive focus on women and children affected by family violence, we provide a range of behaviour change and therapeutic support responses to men using violence. Where fathers who have used violence are able to take responsibility and provide safety, and with the agreement of partners, Family Life will also assist them to maintain relationships with their children.

Adolescent violence

Family Life are developing programs for adolescents who use violence. This builds on over five years of experience in delivering the ‘Who’s in Charge’ intervention for parents, and more recently partnering to deliver an art therapy based adolescent violence program. We work with young people with

court intervention orders to mitigate the impact on their families and reduce their use of violence. Our specialist Youth, Family and Adolescent Violence program supports 60 young people aged 10 - 17 years through intensive and structured case management. We provide an outreach approach for the young person using individual and family strengths and systems based methodologies. This approach seeks to build on the protective qualities of the family to ensure the young person can continue to reside with their family.

Response to police L17 reports of family violence

In partnership with women’s services, ChildFIRST and Child Protection, Family Life have developed the Bayside Peninsula Enhanced L17 Triage response. This is an innovative response to Police Referrals for families where there has been violence. We have undertaken 439 L17 responses in 2016/17. The partnership focuses on risk identification and risk assessment with referrals triaged within 24 hours of police attending a family violence incident. The expert, integrated service team are efficient, effective and reduce service duplication to ensure the safety of children and their families. Family Life have integrated programs with the L17 response model so that male staff from the Men’s Behaviour Change Program will co-work a case with a Family Violence

specialist social worker, ensuring both the affected family member and perpetrator are engaged with an appropriate service. Family Life shares expert opinion, publications, and ongoing practice reform with the community services sector with the aim of reducing violence and preventing filicide and child deaths in the context of parental separation. (Why Parents Kill Children:Understanding Filicide. Brown, Tyson and Fernandez Arias. Chapter 12, Cavanagh (2017) In print).

Collective impact

Family Life is committed to preventing family violence through our work with community. We provide backbone support and community facilitator for the Together We Can Collective Impact project in Cardinia Shire. Diverse partners from all community sectors have been engaged to lead a year of action and activities to raise awareness about the impact of violence on women and children. Community leaders have publicly committed to prevent, end and stop family violence. In 2016/17 Family Life has designed a curriculum for our Map Your World program to focus on building healthy relationships. A school in the shire is piloting this new program. The program is empowering young people to design change they want to see in their community, which will also contribute to reducing violence.

4152 people

committed to and actively joined the conversation against Family Violence


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Meeting Community Needs Embedded in Family Life’s approach is researching data about specific communities. We work with key community members to understand needs and the most effective contribution we can make to empower and strengthen local leadership and networks of support. We use evidence and local relationships to plan and innovate for impact in an entrepreneurial way, focused on improving social and economic outcomes for local residents and parents. This place based strategy strengthens the context in which we provide the government funded services knowing we can move beyond targeted interventions to connect clients into a caring, capable community with learning and volunteering opportunities, and pathways to employment.

Pathways into employment PeopleWorx

PeopleWorx is an innovative program developed by Family Life in 2003 in response to youth homelessness and unemployment. The program, now under the guidance of Rebecca Dwyer-Davies, a PeopleWorx graduate, has evolved to include training in many different retail and manufacturing skills, and has widened to include participants of different ages and backgrounds. PeopleWorx is responsive to needs and adapts to the income and fundraising we can generate to support the program. This is a constant challenge!



participants in PeopleWorx this year

Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Addressing unemployment

PeopleWorx supports people experiencing barriers to entering the workforce due to learning difficulties or emotional problems which prevent them from gaining experience in a real-life workplace. Family Life Social Enterprise retail stores provide a safe, supportive work place environment. This year we traded successfully with four Opportunity Shops and a warehouse in Moorabbin. The PeopleWorx students are mentored by specially trained volunteers in a caring and understanding learning environment. At the warehouse they learn retail skills, customer service, communication, computer training, job interview techniques and help with resume writing. The students learn vital skills and also build their self-esteem. Participants practice their skills in the Family Life Op Shops again under the guidance and mentoring of our volunteers. The skills they learn, and experience they gain, help the participants to engage in the community as volunteers, and also provides them with the confidence to cope with the job seeking process, gain paid employment or assist them to move on to further study.

How PeopleWorx has evolved

The PeopleWorx program has evolved over the years to now include older people facing retrenchment or needing to upskill, older women or mothers who haven’t worked for a while and are wanting to get back into the workplace, and newly arrived immigrants who need to improve their English and connect with their community.

Transferrable skills

Participants are now learning to upcycle furniture, manufacturing and online retail skills. Furniture is upcycled by the students and then sold in the Op Shops, and students are assisted to create their own goods to sell. They work with clay and other materials to make their own unique range of

products including pottery herb markers and bath bombs offered for sale in the Op Shops. The products are also available at the popular Pop-In Shop days held at the Social Enterprise warehouse. The PeopleWorx students sell their goods at various stalls and events in the local community and handle all aspects of those sales including using the till points. They also learn how to set up an online selling portal on eBay. PeopleWorx addresses unemployment in our communities as well as under employment. To date the program has seen over 1,000 vulnerable people through the program, empowering them to move on to job opportunities, further education or volunteering.


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Why our Op Shops are different Social Enterprise Retail Our Social Enterprise opportunity shops are community hubs that perform various functions and act as a self-sustaining eco-system within the communities they serve.

Self-sustaining hubs

Local residents donate their unused and preloved goods to the shops, helping the environment by

preventing overburdened landfills. The donated goods are sold, generating money to support programs like Creating Capable Communities and PeopleWorx (programs not funded by government). PeopleWorx participants learn new skills through the upcycling of donated goods to make them suitable for sale in our shops. Goods not good enough to sell or upcycle are recycled. All these activities contribute to the PeopleWorx training leading to participants readiness for employment or volunteering as valued members of the community.


The community donates items to Family Life

Social Enterprise

The profits from your donations and purchases help PeopleWorx participants to get experience and jobs

Op Shops

Creating Capable Communities

We sell the best donated items in our stores

Job Training

We offer training and employment opportunities to participants, volunteers and the community


Volunteers are empowered to support PeopleWorx participants in real work environments


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report


We recycle unsaleable donations to minimise waste


PeopleWorx participants refurbish furniture and make items for sale

Return on investment

Family Life has calculated the cost of running the program for each participant to compare that cost with the financial benefits for the taxpayer/ government, when they gain employment. These benefits are assessed for the year following graduation, and include welfare foregone, tax paid and reduced healthcare costs due to the improved well-being associated with employment. Our calculations indicate that the cost of providing the program is returned to the community through the aggregated benefits created by employment and community participation within four months of graduation. This is a significant return on investment and demonstrates we can all transform lives for stronger communities.


Volunteers from the community are vital to the success of our opportunity shops and warehouse, bringing important social connections and gaining and sharing workplace skills. We have an increase in

the number of new immigrants volunteering in the shops seeking to connect and contribute to their new communities. The volunteers mentor the PeopleWorx participants and interact with those who come into the stores to shop or donate goods. PeopleWorx participants get retail experience in the shops, and build confidence and establish social connections. Participants are then able to move on to further employment or become volunteers themselves making a contribution to helping others in their community.

Looking ahead With the support of the community, our Social Enterprise retail business continues to grow from strength to strength with new communities forming around new stores. We have expansion plans for new stores and more PeopleWorx participants. It is our wonderful hard-working, dedicated family of volunteers, generous donors of pre-loved goods and the loyal customers who support us who will make this possible. We would like to thank you all for ensuring the ongoing success of our unique social enterprises.


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Successful workshops

Sharing, Learning, Building

Heartlinks - meeting unmet needs in the community

To respond to unmet needs among families seeking help across the bayside area for relationship education and counselling, Family Life established Heartlinks as a social enterprise. Targeting of Sharing, Learning, Building government funded services has reduced eligibility for large sections of the community who will need to self-fund to purchase a service. Heartlinks ensures a professional service, guaranteed to quality standards, is available with educational group workshops and individual counselling services. Our focus is on supporting individuals and families to build healthier relationships, contributing to a thriving community. Professional support and learning is delivered through relationship and communication seminars, tailored group workshops, and individual and family-focused counselling. As a social enterprise of Family Life, Heartlinks is focused on creating shared value, and invests any surplus back into Family Life’s programs for transforming the lives of children, young people and families in our community.


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

A series of successful group workshops addressing relationship building, communication techniques and effective parenting strategies was delivered at our Sandringham centre. For convenience and wider reach, workshops are offered on weeknights. Topics covered have included Positive Parenting after Separation, Communicating with your Adolescent, and Better Relationships - all facilitated by experienced family relationship practitioners.

“It really helped open my eyes to different ways to improve my marriage.” “Dedicating time to spend together and hearing suggestions about how to interact together helped us to rediscover a common language.” Heartlinks is an example of a successful innovation responding to unmet needs in a community in an entrepreneurial way. As a result it has received growing interest and support from local community stakeholders.

“My children feel safe at the contact centre. They love the facilities, activities and resources available to them and look forward to seeing their father at the contact centre.”

Bayside Children’s Contact Service - a child-focused service delivery

The Bayside Children’s Contact Service (BCCS) is another social enterprise successfully meeting the needs of parents requiring supervised visits with their children. Parents can face waiting lists of over six months for government funded services. The BCCS operates at the Family Life Community House at 199 Bluff Road - a safe, neutral, child focused venue for supervised contact visits and changeovers for those families under direction of the Family Court or seeking to resolve family law conflicts. As the success of the service grows we are benefiting the wider community and contributing to reducing the high cost of family court involvement.

Professional support

The BCCS reputation for quality service provision and comprehensive, professional court reports is reflected in the increased referrals from the Family Courts (Moorabbin, Melbourne, Dandenong and Frankston) Referrals are also increasing from Independent Children’s Lawyers (ICL’s) who, in helping to make arrangements in the best interests of the child, know and trust the service and are aware that more timely

access can be provided reducing the stress for the child and parents.

Flexible and holistic

The service provides access on weekends as well as midweek visits with flexibility of times and days to suit a range of family needs. One of the advantages of having the BCCS located next to the Sandringham Service Centre is that families have access to Family Life’s wrap around service model including counselling, child-focused one-on-one support services, men’s behaviour change groups and parenting support programs.

Bayside Children’s Contact Service has seen a


increase in the families it is supporting.


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Our people The engagement, retention and support of our people is a priority at Family Life. Our people come from diverse and multidisciplinary professional backgrounds, and combine their valuable areas of expertise to deliver high quality services to the community. To support and equip our people to produce quality services, we have been guided by the following three pillars of people commitment:

Supportive Workplace Community

Family Life is dedicated to providing an understanding workplace community which exemplifies support, collaboration and communication. Our commitment to increasing communication has been enhanced electronically, by utilising our Google+ community noticeboard to share and collaborate on a wide range of workplace information. In 2017, we celebrated Privacy Awareness week, NAIDOC week and Diversity week, continuing our dedication to the Family Life values - Respect, Inclusion, Empowerment and Community.


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

High Performing Contributors

Family Life is committed to the training and development of our people, working towards high performance and increased practice standards. Staff have internal online learning as well as attending forums, seminars and conferences to ensure knowledge and skill development.

Workplace Wellbeing

Family Life has a Workplace Family Violence Policy as a commitment to providing a workplace environment that promotes safety and provides support and flexibility. Family Life have also continued to champion key wellbeing dates such as R U OK? Day and Go Home On Time Day to ensure staff are staying connected and having meaningful wellbeing conversations. Our Employee Assistance Program ensures professional support, particularly for staff working with crisis and trauma.

2017 Treasurer’s Report Family Life completed external audits and achieved compliance with governance and management standards. In addition we closely monitor recommendations from the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, for ensuring our future readiness as a social purpose organisation delivering impact to benefit vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people and families. This has required strategic application of our finances to transition to new ways of technology enabled working and review of property and assets for efficiency and effectiveness. Management has successfully promoted Family Life innovations to support government reform directions delivering expansion of our service footprint and revenue growth. This is reflected in our end of year result with revenue of $9.2 million, up from $8.8 million in 2015/16. Capacity building investments have been rolled out across the past year and will continue over the next 12 months to support best practice in how we deliver our services. This is reflected in the planned deficit result from all ordinary operating activities of $150,867, following the previous six year surplus results, including a surplus of $36,074 in 2015/16. Hence Family Life has been positioning to make these essential investments to improve our operating model and support for our people who are essential to delivering our results.


Government funding increased by $427,298, up 6.2% on last year. Family Life management have leadership roles working with the Victorian government and service partners to support the major reforms underway in response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence and Roadmap for Reform to improve outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and families. These reforms concern the core work of Family Life and innovations which have been supported through philanthropic and enterprise income over previous years. Hence we project further income growth results in the

current financial year through both the state and federal governments. The social enterprise arm of our community strengthening organisation delivers employment, social inclusion, environmental recycling and income results. The PeopleWorx program delivers on our purpose for transforming lives enabling social and financial improvements for our program participants, and the organisation. The income raised from our retail social enterprise Op Shops grew by 10.2% on last year from $1.1 million to $1.2 million. The net surplus was invested in Creating Capable Communities and PeopleWorx, both programs being reliant on non government sources of funding and essential to our Family Life whole of community model to strengthen families and communities. In a highly competitive environment for attracting charitable donations, Family Life continues to prioritise generating untied income to fund innovations. We work to translate research into practice to intervene early where social needs are identified, and work with the community to reduce and prevent social problems. Financially this strategic approach to invest for the future and grow our impact is reflected in our expenditure of $9.4 million, an increase of 6.7%, but still tracking closely to our increased income. The Board and management have maintained a strong cash flow and balance sheet for Family Life. Family Life was solvent as at 30 June 2017 and the Board expect this trend will continue. We invite you to share in our meaningful work and transforming lives for stronger communities by making your personal tax deductible donation. John Dickinson Treasurer


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Financials Family Life Limited Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income for the year ended 30 June 2017 2017 $

2016 $






Non-Government grants



Voluntary contributions



State Government funding

Local Government funding


Public fundraising

Social enterprises


140,727 41,129

128,666 129,362 29,773





Service income





Other income









Membership subscriptions




Audit and accounting fees


Finance costs


Bank charges

Staffing expenses

27,960 25,410



Program expenses

419,847 216,159


Property expenses







Other comprehensive income











The accompanying notes form part of this financial report. A complete copy of Family Life Limited audited financial statements are distributed at our AGM. Our Annual Financial Report – For the Year Ended 30 June 2017 is available on our website with the detailed financials. This is the report Family Life Limited submit to our regulatory bodies.


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Family Life Limited Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June 2017. 2017 $

2016 $

CURRENT ASSETS Cash & Cash Equivalents











Property, Plant and Equipment









Trade & Other Payables



Accrued Expenses



Unearned Income





Provision for Employee Entitlements



Provision for Employee Entitlements - LSL

















Accumulated Funds








Held-to-Maturity Investments

Available-for-Sale Investments

Receivables - Trade & Other Other Current Assets TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS





Interest Bearing Loan





Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

Volunteers and Donor Acknowledgements Family Life was founded in 1970 by a caring group of concerned citizens who volunteered as a group to ease the pressure on families in their community. We are able to continue and build on the work this group started thanks to our vast and dedicated volunteer base. With 341 volunteers - some of whom have been working with Family Life since 1971, make a significant contribution, either directly or indirectly, to Family Life’s work with families, children and young people.

Vital support

Volunteers offer their time and expertise in various ways to provide vital support in all areas of the organisation. Volunteers help mentor and train our PeopleWorx participants, help in the opportunity shops as well as behind the scenes in the warehouse sorting donations. They can also be found in administrative positions, helping with our community events or providing support alongside specialist staff in our many programs and projects that work with families including our playgroups and breakfast, coffee and lunch clubs.

Social and economic capital

With the support of our volunteers, Family Life is able to leverage government and philanthropic investment to better achieve our goals, so volunteering has a social and economic benefit to the organisation and community. Volunteers are connected to each other and those around them, providing vital interaction and support to each other, the community and strengthening our society. Each volunteer is special and unique, contributing for a diverse number of reasons; those who are unemployed or underemployed, who need connection and purpose as well as work experience. We have also seen an increase in immigrant volunteers who recognise this as a beneficial way to gain local work experience in Australia, improve their English skills and importantly as a way to establish themselves in their new communities.


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report


We frequently receive volunteer feedback, with many acknowledging that it has changed their lives in many ways. As one volunteer said, ‘When you see somebody grateful to receive something, you can see you are making a real difference’ while another says ‘Volunteering gives you perspective and you meet a lot of wise people.’ This Annual Report is a particular opportunity to record our appreciation and thank all our volunteers for their invaluable support and tireless contributions to Family Life and all who benefit from our work.

Board Members

Family Life is a not-for-profit incorporated company limited by guarantee, governed by a voluntary Board. Chair and Company Secretary Mr Len Gill Vice-Chairs Ms Lesley Coleman, Mr Jeff Phillips Treasurer Mr John Dickinson Company Secretary Ms Georgina Cohen Board Members Mr Grant Douglas, Mr David Stewart, Ms Michelle Thompson, Mr Mark Vassella, Mr Steve Walsh,


Dr Roger Riordan AM, Mr Graeme Disney OAM, Ms Heather Spooner LLB Biographies of Family Life Board Members and Patrons are available on our website.

Thank you to our Donors and Supporters Family Life gratefully acknowledges the financial grants received from federal, state and local governments, and funding support from philanthropic trusts, businesses, service clubs, community groups, schools and individuals. The full list of supporters may be found on our website. This list demonstrates the breadth of our relationships. Australian Government

- Department of Social Services

- Department of Health and Human Services

Victorian Government

- Department Education and Training

Balfe and Webb

Barr Family Foundation Bayside City Council

Bayside Community Hub

Bennelong Funds Management Besen Family Foundation Cabrini Health

Cardinia Shire Council CE Family Lawyers City of Casey

City of Kingston

Cybec Foundation

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Doveton College

Dr Roger Riordan AM

EACH Social and Community Health Gladys Hilton (nee Richards)

Good Start Early Learning Centres Gundry-White family

Herbert Smith Freehills HWL Ebsworth K&L Gates

Lions Clubs

Lowe Construction and family Monash University

Mornington Peninsula Shire Council Mr Edward Ong

Mr Fred and Mrs Monica Hofmann Mr Malcolm Parks

Myer Community Fund Rotary Clubs

Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre (SMRC) Swinburne University

The Good Guys Foundation

The G.P. & M.D. Farrell Foundation The R.E. Ross Trust

The Royal Children’s Hospital The Toni Kaye Foundation

The University of Melbourne

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) Victoria Police


Family Life 2016-2017 Annual Report

In relation to Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services funded programs:

ISO 9001


Family Life delivers services across the southern region of Melbourne in 10 Local Government Areas, with national and international partnerships for knowledge sharing, advocacy and policy advice. Ringwood


Hampton East Highett Moorabbin Sandringham Black Rock Cheltenham



Children’s Contact Services

Chelsea Berwick

Community House Opportunity Shop

Cranbourne Frankston

Outreach Partnership


Service Centre Warehouse


Tootgarook Family Life Limited ABN: 37 712 782 209 ACN: 606 542 590 Copyright Š Family Life 2017

Family Life and all the individuals who make up our organisation respectfully acknowledge all Aboriginal people and their ancient and ongoing connections to culture and country. In particular we wish to acknowledge the Boonwurrung and WoiwurrungWurundjeri people of the larger Kulin nation in whose ancestral lands Family Life provides services to the Melbourne community.

Family Life: 2016-2017 Annual Report  
Family Life: 2016-2017 Annual Report