Our Organisation 

Our History

Child and Family Focus SA (CAFFSA) was established as an incorporated association in November 1991.
The Child and Family Welfare Association of South Australia Incorporated continues to be our legal name, however we have been trading as Child and Family Focus SA since 2018.
Our origins are as the South Australian peak body representing the needs of children and families in contact with or at risk of coming in to contact with the child protection system in South Australia, as well as the non-government, not-for-profit organisations supporting them.
The founding members of The Child and Family Welfare Association of South Australia Incorporated came together as an association with a concern for furthering the wellbeing of children and young people in out-of-home care.

These organisations were:

  • Port Pirie Central Mission
  • Whyalla Centacare
  • Aboriginal Family Support Services Incorporated
  • Anglicare SA
  • Anglican Community Care
  • Emergency Foster Care

The purpose of CAFFSA is to represent 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 vision is of an inclusive community where all children, young people and families are safe, secure, and supported to grow and flourish.
Whilst we are a membership-based organisation representing over 48 non-government and not-for-profit service providers in South Australia, our primary focus is to secure the best interests of children, young people and their families. This is represented in everything we do.

Our Strategic Plan

Our latest Strategic Plan reflects CAFFSA’s commitment to representing the needs and interests of children, young people and families connected with or at risk of coming in to contact with the South Australian child protection system.
Our Strategic Plan covers the period 2021 to 2025 and was endorsed by CAFFSA’s member organisations in 2021.
Importantly, our latest Strategic Plan positions us as the South Australian peak body for child protection and child safety, and directs us to be influential, conscious, informed, resourceful, strategic and purposeful.
We seek to be evidence-based in our advice and recommendations to government, and we strive to honour the cultural authority and cultural expertise of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and support their calls for self-determination in matters affecting Aboriginal children and families.

You can read and download the full version of CAFFSA’s 2021-2025 Strategic Directions here: CAFFSA STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS 2021-2025

Our Values

CAFFSA’s advocacy and representation as a peak body is underpinned by our organisational values. These values have been agreed upon and endorsed by the CAFFSA Board and our membership and help shape our behaviours and attitudes in the way we advocate for children and families in South Australia.

You can read and download the full version of CAFFSA’s Values Statement here: CAFFSA VALUES STATEMENT

Our Constitution

Our Constitution was amended and ratified by all members in 2018. Important amendments were included for governance, with provisions made to ensure that at all times the CAFFSA Board has representation from an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation in South Australia, as well as an organisation operating from a remote or regional part of the state.

The Constitution guides and directs all business matters affecting the day-to-day operation of the organisation as well as the high-level governance of the organisation.

You can read and download CAFFSA’s Constitution here: CAFWA-SA Constitution, UPDATED Oct 2018

Our Annual Reports

CAFFSA Annual Reports are presented every year at our Annual General Meeting (AGM), and document key achievements and measures of organisational impact.

CAFFSA Annual Reports also present consolidated, audited financial statements to all members and stakeholders.

Our most recent Annual Reports can be accessed below:

CAFFSA Annual Report 2022

CAFFSA Annual Report 2021

CAFFSA Annual Report 2020


CAFFSA Annual Report 2018

CAFFSA Annual Report 2017


Melissa Gibson

Melissa Gibson

Chief Executive Officer

Working with vulnerable children, families and communities has been a central theme throughout Melissa’s working life. She started her career as a child and family psychologist and moved into regional management of sexual assault, child protection and family violence services. She went on to work in senior policy and program development roles in NSW Health and across a range of other NSW Government human services, including as the Executive Director to the NSW Human Services Forum, reporting to twelve CEOs.

Melissa has also worked across a range of portfolios in the non-Government sector, most recently as the Director of Policy and Programs for the Western Sydney Primary Health Network. She has received a number of awards for her work and is passionate about the ways innovation and reform can change peoples lives when we work together for a common purpose.


Karryn Sedmak

Karryn Sedmak

Business and Operations Coordinator



Dr. Amy Bromley

Dr. Amy Bromley

Policy and Advocacy Lead

Amy is a social worker who has spent more than a decade specialising in working with children, young people, families, and carers. Her work spans statutory child protection, clinical trauma therapy, training, assessment, advocacy, and research. Amy holds social work degrees from South Africa and the USA, and a PhD from Flinders University. She is currently completing a Master of Neuroscience to better understand the biological impacts of trauma.

Clinically, Amy is skilled in a range of assessments including assessing parenting capacity, reflective functioning, and attachment, and is an accredited SBS assessor. She is also trained in assessments using the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics which informs treatment planning for people who have experienced trauma. This gives her a sound understanding of evidence-based practice in the field, the needs of people who have experienced trauma, and the challenges of frontline practice. 

Amy’s research focuses on transforming child protection systems by advocating for a trauma-informed response throughout all aspects of the system. This ensures child protection practitioners are adequately nurtured to become resilient, adaptive, and offer high-quality services to children, young people, families, and carers.



The CAFFSA Board

Nancy Penna

Nancy Penna


Executive General Manager, Community Services

Anglicare SA

Dan Mitchell

Dan Mitchell

Chief Executive Aboriginal Family Support Services Ltd

With over 20 years’ experience in the Out of Home Care and Social welfare sector throughout metro, regional and remote South Australia, both in Government and non-Government Agency’s Dan has worked as an Aboriginal Leader.

He is a strong advocate for Aboriginal equality and promoting the rights of children, young people and their families to have their lived experiences acknowledged and their voices heard and supported.

Simone Mather

Simone Mather

Deputy Chair

Executive Director, Children, Youth & Families 

Life Without Barriers

Michele Wachla

Michele Wachla

Executive Manager
Centacare Catholic Country SA

Experienced professional with a background in social work and business. She has honed her skills and knowledge through 18 years of working in regional, rural and remote environments.

Michele has specialist knowledge of communities in country SA and the delivery of services in place. In her current role, she leads and oversees social service delivery and initiatives across Centacare’s vast footprint in South Australia.


Shane Maddocks

Shane Maddocks

Cheif Executive Officer


Leanne Haddad

Leanne Haddad


Harry Randhawa

Harry Randhawa


Chief Executive

Uniting Country SA Ltd

Our Members

Child and Family Focus SA (CAFFSA) is also the principle industry association supporting those not-for-profit organisations who provide various forms of prevention and early intervention, family support, out of home care [including foster care and residential care], and other child protection and child safety services. We represent small, medium and large community service organisations across South Australia in metropolitan and country locations, and act in the interests of children, young people and their families.

Become a Member

Full membership is available to not-for-profit organisations, local government and community health service units providing child, youth and family welfare services in South Australia, and upon application and approval by Board.

Fee: 0.075% of total audited revenue on Child, Youth and Family services.

  • Voting rights at our AGM and other members’ meetings
  • A full subscription to all our member communications
  • The opportunity to join any of our member networks
  • The opportunity to provide feedback on policy and practice
  • Discounted rates for selected training
  • Practical support and the chance to cross-promote through sector communications
  • CAFFSA networks, advocacy, sector employment opportunities, training resources and practice development opportunities

For more information on becoming a member email admin@childandfamily-sa.org.au