Creating better, safer futures for children, young people and families
Stretch-A-Family, Inc. (SAF) was established in 1977. It grew out of the Young People’s Refuge (YPR), the first youth refuge in Sydney. Workers there began to realise that refuges could not meet the long-term needs of young people for stability and the development of life skills, particularly those under the age of sixteen. In 1984, SAF and the YPR mutually agreed to separate and YPR moved to a separate house.
SAF’s roots lie in the philosophy of offering homeless young people an alternative to institutional care. SAF has a history of working towards legal and social equality for young people and continues to work against all forms of discrimination and persecution against children and young people. Over our 40+ years of operation SAF has developed a professional reputation for excellence and is highly regarded in the field of Out-of-Home-Care. We are frequently called upon to share our expertise with workers from other agencies in Australia and overseas.
SAF has been fully accredited by the Office of the Children’s Guardian as an Out-of-Home-Care (OOHC) Agency since 2004. Our OOHC work is contracted and funded by the Department of Communities and Justice.
SAF offered Residential Care to teenagers from 1977 to 2020. In July 2020 the the Inner West Out-of-Home-Care Residential Care Services delivered by SAF were transferred to The Burdekin Association (TBA). While this was the right time for SAF to cease providing Residential Care, we have always taken our responsibilities to the young people in our care very seriously. In light of this, SAF brokered a transition that is in the best interest of these vulnerable young people. TBA is a trusted community-based agency known for providing quality, client focused care.
A collaborative partnering transfer process meant that the young people supported by SAF continued to be cared for in their homes as per their case plan goals and supported by staff who are familiar to them. This transfer also ensured that vital accommodation and support can continue to be provided for vulnerable young people in the Inner West while providing TBA with an excellent opportunity to bring its considerable knowledge and experience of service provision to young people in the area.
SAF are a small organisation but are thoroughly committed to the work we do. Currently we have over 60 children placed with carers in our foster care program. We also run a self-funded Aftercare program to support young adults succeed in life after leaving OOHC. Over the years, SAF has worked with several hundred children and young people, many of whom come back to visit from time to time. Our quality work with young people across time has earned us the respect of many of our colleagues in the area of OOHC. We continually seek to improve the quality of our service and to respond to changing needs.
SAF continues to support our young people in every way we can, but we desperately need financial support through donations from community-minded individuals and businesses to continue with this service delivery. All donations over $2 are fully tax deductible.
Although it is still considered to be a small agency, SAF has made a significant contribution to the area of Out-of-Home-Care for the last four decades. Our programs are constantly upgraded and refined. SAF’s challenge is to ensure that our services continue to be responsive to changing needs of children and young people in our society. It is a challenge that the agency will continue to meet for as long as the need exists!
SAF is administered by a community-based voluntary Board made up of professionals who have knowledge and interest in issues surrounding Out-of-Home-Care. If you are interested in joining the SAF Board please send your expression of interest to SAF@stretchafamily.com.au
ACTING CHAIRPERSON- Rosanna Iacono
Rosanna is a business leader and marketing executive in the fashion industry, with 20+ years international experience working for global icon brands. She is passionate about causes that improve the lives of and empower children and women. In 2001 she established the Corporate Social Responsibility platform and founded the Ideas of Beauty Fund, raising and disbursing over $100,000 in its first year. Rosanna and her husband have twin sons.
TREASURER – Jonathan Benjamin
- People and relationships matter. Those we support are at the centre of everything we do. We help people to realise their potential.
- Delivering well is important to us. We work hard to keep our promises. We persevere, are resilient and act with integrity. We hold ourselves accountable and expect others to do so too.
- We listen and use evidence to inform our decision making and practice. Positive client outcomes are our primary focus. We support the achievement of these by measuring what we do and by being innovative, responsive and flexible.
- We value collaborative partnerships. We become stronger by engaging others in our work. Community, government and corporate partners are vital to our future success.
- We invest in developing strong families and healthy communities. Children and young people thrive in a supportive, respectful and caring environment. Safety, security and a sense of belonging are enhanced by building resilient family relationships and meaningful community connections.
(02) 9569 6933
Monday to Friday:
9am – 5pm
7/198-204 Marrickville Rd,
Marrickville NSW 2204