Independent Family Advocacy and Support

Independent Family Advocacy and Support

independent Family Advocacy and-Support logo

Independent Family Advocacy and Support (IFAS) is a pilot service that provides non-legal advocacy and support to parents and primary carers who are involved in the child protection system at the early stages. Our dedicated advocates work with you to identify what you need, how to get there and support you to understand your rights and responsibilities in the system.

IFAS is not a legal service but we can refer you to get legal advice, or other support, if you need it.

We are an independent, non-judgemental service, focusing on ensuring that the rights of primary carers and families are upheld, and that you feel like you are an active participant in the wellbeing of your family.

IFAS is confidential, free and voluntary. We respect everybody’s individuality and culture and we will always work with you to make sure you feel safe and supported within our service.

IFAS can:

  • give you information and support to understand and act on your rights and responsibilities
  • listen to what you want and talk about your options
  • help you understand your situation and what you may need to do
  • work with you so you can have your say
  • speak directly to other professionals on your behalf
  • refer you to helpful and culturally safe services, if you need.

Who can we help

This is a small pilot project but you may be eligible for the service if you:

  • are a primary carer/parent of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child OR a primary carer/parent with intellectual disability
  • are involved with child protection
  • have not been to court due to current issues with child protection (if you have been involved before, we may still be able to support you)
  • live or work in Darebin, Moreland or Bendigo.

If you are unsure whether you meet the criteria, please contact us.

Contact Independent Family Advocacy and Support

Phone us for free in Victoria on 1800 849 200. The phone line is available:

  • Monday 9 am to 12 pm
  • Wednesday 1 pm to 4 pm
  • Friday 9 am to 12 pm.

You can leave a voicemail message outside of these hours and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Email us at IFAScontact@vla.vic.gov.au

Fact sheets for parents and primary carers

Visit our Child protection page to download fact sheets that have more information for parents and primary carer who are involved in in the child protection system. These include:

  • common questions about child protection involvement, how to get help and what you can do if you’re unhappy with a child protection decision
  • answers to some common questions about the child protection court process and how to get help
  • tips about working with child protection, from advocates and parents who have experience of child protection involvement with their family in the past.

Your experience with Independent Family Advocacy and Support

We want to hear about your experience with IFAS. Our online survey will take five minutes.

If you would like some one to assist you to complete the survey or you would like to give us feedback in another way please call IFAS on 1800 849 200.  

More information

Read more about Victoria Legal Aid's review of our child protection services.

Read more about Child Protection.

Read more about Family Violence.

Read more about Independent Mental Health Advocacy

Read more about Family Law.

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