Child and Family Focus SA (CAFFSA) is the South Australian peak body representing the needs and interests of children, young people and families connected with or at risk of entering the child protection system, and the not-for-profit, non-government organisations who support them.

Our Mission 

Our mission is to collaborate, advocate, and promote innovation. We empower child and family agencies to share innovative solutions and advocate for the highest standards of care, whilst insisting on the strong early intervention focus required to build a resilient foundation for the well-being of South Australian children and families.

Our Purpose

Dedicated to nurturing a secure and supportive community, CAFFSA champions the needs of South Australian children, young people, families, and the non-government, not-for-profit organisations that support them.

To do this, we are committed to strengthening South Australian child and family agencies, fostering collaboration, and advocating for excellence in service provision.

News and Events 


Recent Events

CAFFSA Guest Presentation on the Australian Child Maltreatment Study and Sector Morning Tea

Adelaide, September 18, 2023 – Child and Family Focus SA (CAFFSA) hosted a pivotal event focussing on the Australian Child Maltreatment Study. This gathering brought together a panel of leaders to delve into the disconcerting findings of the Australian Child Maltreatment Study (ACMS), emphasising the urgent need for comprehensive action against child maltreatment in Australia.

The event opened with a panel of speakers led by CAFFSA’s Chair, Nancy Penna, and featuring the SA Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, April Lawrie; the SA Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly; the Chief Executive of the SA Department of Human Services, Sandy Pitcher; and the Chief Executive of the SA Department for Child Protection, Jackie Bray  Prof. Daryl Higgins, one of the ACMS’s lead researchers, then presented the profound revelations from the study.

The ACMS,, illuminates the troubling prevalence of child maltreatment in Australia. Startling statistics reveal that a significant portion of Australians experience one or more forms of abuse by the time they reach the age of 18. Risk factors such as parental separation, family mental illness, substance abuse issues, and economic hardship have been found to double the risk of multitype maltreatment. Furthermore, experiencing multiple types of child abuse and neglect has been closely linked to higher rates of mental health disorders and risky behaviours, including cannabis dependence, self-harm, and suicide attempts.

While these findings are distressing, they also present a unique opportunity for positive change. Child maltreatment is preventable, and it is imperative for stakeholders in research, practice, and policy to unite and make a substantial impact. The ACMS data will serve as a critical guide for investments in evidence-based prevention and response initiatives, enabling strategic action to combat this pressing issue.

Child and Family Focus SA now joins a coalition of concerned community leaders, research organisations, and stakeholders in a concerted call to action, urging the Prime Minister to convene a National Summit to Prevent Child Maltreatment. The objective is to develop a comprehensive national child maltreatment prevention strategy and action plan, underlining the urgency and gravity of this issue.

The event has illuminated a clear path forward to address child maltreatment in Australia. It serves as a compelling call to action for all Australians to acknowledge the gravity of this issue and collaborate to safeguard the well-being of the nation’s children and young people.

CAFFSA’s Submission to the Inquiry into the application of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle in the removal and placement of Aboriginal children in South Australia
CAFFSA's Submission to the Review of the Residential Tenancies Act
CAFFSA's Submission to the 2022 Foster and Kinship Care Inquiry
CAFFSA's Submission to the 2022 Review of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017
CAFFSA Forum May 2022

CAFFSA’s Forum “Improving Family Wellbeing and Child Protection: What are our priorities for the next four years in SA?” was held on 6 May 2022. Sixty-eight participants attended from 28 organisations with a series of interactive panel discussions. There were also five video presentations recorded especially for the forum.

See the summary report here: CAFFSA May 2022 Forum Report

Child and Family Focus SA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, the Kaurna and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Sovereignty has never been ceded and this was and always will be Aboriginal land.

We appreciate and celebrate diversity in all its forms. We believe diversity of all kinds makes our teams, services,  organisations and communities stronger and more effective.