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Thriving Families – Collaborating to support vulnerable young families to thrive


For some young parents, the presence of pre-existing risk factors and disadvantage combined with their age increases their vulnerability, and the vulnerability of their child.

It is difficult to change the trajectory of vulnerable young families due to the need to address multiple layers of disadvantage in parallel with the challenges of raising a child. These challenges are compounded by the stigma many young parents face, which can lead to a reluctance to engage with services.

The goal of the Thriving Families NSW project was to deliver a uniquely person-centred, wraparound service for rapid deployment to support vulnerable young families to thrive, delivering measurable positive outcomes for parents and child.

The Strategy Group facilitated a design-led process through three phases in partnership with Their Futures Matter, a NSW Government reform unit. We brought together diverse agency representatives from 12 government agencies including Health, Education, Family and Community Services, and Juvenile Justice, as well as some non-government representatives.

“The challenge set for us wasn’t easy, but thanks to The Strategy Group we were able to repidly generate ideas and turn the, into real-life solutions that will help young families”

–Tahn O’Brien, Director, Their Futures Matter


Collaborating to understand and address all perspectives

The Strategy Group partnered with Their Futures Matter using a design-led approach to address the complex challenge. The foundation was a three-perspective approach: capturing the voice of vulnerable young families, engaging both NSW government and NGO stakeholders, and checking the insights at every point against existing in-depth evidence. 

Over nine short weeks, we challenged stakeholders to work in small cross-agency teams, pooling their expertise to: define the problems to be solved, ideate new solutions, and design services that will deliver meaningful change for vulnerable young families. Over 174 new ideas were produced through workshops, and several were developed to become the wraparound service solutions. 

Focus groups with client representatives ensured that workshop outcomes aligned with the perspectives of vulnerable young families.




A new network of support for vulnerable young families

Through the series of collaborative workshops and client voice focus groups, a detailed service has been designed which is measurable and has meaningful impact for vulnerable young families. The design is in keeping with Their Futures Matter’s vision to create a service system that delivers coordinated, wraparound and evidence-based supports for vulnerable children and families.

The detailed service design was approved for implementation by the Their Futures Matter Implementation Board and a location-based trial has begun.


“The highly interactive consultation with stakeholders from government agencies, non-government organisations, and client representatives ensured that we were able to meet the challenge of designing effective solutions for vulnerable young families.”

–Alexandra Hallen, Manager Cohort Analysis & Design, Their Futures Matter

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