SCARF (Supporting Children and Responding to Families) is a guided practice case management model with clear standards and expectations for Family Support services working with vulnerable families and children. It aims to meet an individual child's needs by strengthening and connecting  families to their communities.

SCARF provides transparent casework processes that encourage accountability and consistency of practice. The model offers comprehensive assessment and planning tools alongside guidance in making professional judgements.

SCARF was adapted from the United Kingdom (UK) Department of Health “Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families." (CIN Framework). The CIN Framework was developed in the UK with a view to improving the assessment and planning process in working with families of children in need. The model signified a shift from assessments of children dominated by concepts of protection to one focused on prevention.

Barnardos Australia in conjunction with the University of NSW conducted a 3 year trial of the CIN Framework in 6 family support services. The CIN Framework was adapted based on client, worker and manager ideas and feedback during the trial, the end result being the SCARF (Supporting Children And Responding to Families) guided practice case management system, which is unique to Australia. Barnardos Practice Development Centre continues this consultation process with the aim of responding to current "best practice" initiatives.

Last updated 23 March 2012