COPMI - Children of Parents with a Mental Illness - Keeping families in mind

SA, Marion, Western Suburbs, Salisbury and Playford - Family by Family

Organisation: Family by Family
Suburb: Marion, Western Suburbs, Salisbury and Playford
State: SA
Country: Australia
Telephone: (08) 7325 4949
Mobile: 0422 866 654
Program Activity:

Family by Family is a network of families helping families.

Family by Family links up families with things in common to change the things they want to change. Families who have been through tough times and come out the other side are linked to families that have things they want to change.

Family by Family is a completely voluntary program for families wanting a link up and some support to change:

  • You choose what you want to change.
  • You choose who you want to link-up with.
  • You choose places to go, people to meet and things to talk about. 

Dr Gill Westhorpe from Community Matters undertook an evaluation of Family by Family in 2011 and focused on whether Family by Family creates change for families and also how it creates change.

The report's key findings include:

  • Family by Family recruits families in genuine need of support - 62.5% were categorised as ‘stuck’ or ‘in and out of crisis’ and a further 30% as ‘moving on after crisis’.
  • Family by Family improves family interaction and health.
  • Outcomes for families improve over time – 90% said things were ‘better’ or ‘heaps better’.
  • Family by Family’s strongest impact is in factors that are ‘internal to the individual’ – self esteem, believing one’s choices make a difference, and having a positive orientation to the future.

Family by Family is a relatively new model of practice, however the theory behind the practice is well established. Family by Family draws on the literature around family strengths and protective factors. It also builds on the literature of what makes an effective parenting intervention and the best strategies for helping families overcome stress and trauma.


The only criteria for Family by Family is that the family has a child or young person (<18) living in the home or is working towards having a child or young person reunified and the family wants to work towards change.

A referral is not required to participate in Family by Family. Organisations and workers can refer clients to Family by Family by contacting Families can self-refer to Family by Family.

Family by Family is part of TACSI, an independent organisation that is not political, government or religious.

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