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What is Volunteer Family Connect?

Volunteer Family Connect (VFC) is a community-based early intervention program providing one-on-one emotional support to parents and carers in their home. The program was developed as a collaboration between The Benevolent Society, Save the Children, Karitane and senior researchers from Macquarie University and Western Sydney University.

The broad objectives of the program are to:

    • Increase parents’ confidence in their parenting

    • Increase families’ connectedness to other parents and their local community networks

Key features of the program:

  • A universal, free service for parents and carers with babies or young children (0-5 years)

  • Families are linked to a trained volunteer (volunteers receive at least 30 hours of standardised training before they are matched with a family)

  • All volunteers undergo the relevant State and Federal working with children and police checks

  • The volunteer visits regularly to offer support and information usually for 2 hours each week for up to a year

  • Volunteer visits and training are guided by a fully developed program manual and best-practice guidelines

  • A Program Coordinator (who is a trained Family Support Worker) recruits, trains, supports and supervises the Community Parent Volunteers