Independent Family Advocacy and Support (IFAS) 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.
- 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
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 Bendigo, Ballarat, Dandenong, Darebin, Moreland or Preston.
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.
Fact sheets for parents and primary carers
- 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
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.
Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.
We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at www.legalaid.vic.gov.au
Reviewed 30 March 2023