Loud and clear, clients have told us that all to often it is hard to find the right service and once in the service system they find it frustrating and difficult to navigate. Or as one client put it, “You’re always being told you have to go talk to someone else, and when you get there no one knows what’s going on.”


Staff from all service types, government and non-government alike, are also frustrated and confronted by the inability to support clients across organisations or agencies. We have built a service system that is disconnected, inconsistent and confusing.


The Linker Network gives organisations the tools and systems they need to enable effective collaboration throughout the sector. A networked service system makes it easier for vulnerable people to identify services and to get the right support at the right time. This means that fewer people and families will fall through the gaps and end up in crisis.


What We Did

Two years ago the the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) Safe Home for Life Reform created an opportunity to explore innovation and change within our funded service system. This provided staff from NGOs, FACS and other human services agencies an opportunity to work together in a facilitated co-design process which gave birth to, amongst other things, the Linker Network. Since then NGO/FACS project team have been busy working closely with early intervention and prevention services providers to prototype and refine our ideas on how to build a more collaborative and impactful system.

Linker Network

After five-months of prototyping we have the evidence that the model works.

The Linker Network is now open to all organisations and agencies in greater Western Sydney who play a role in providing or supporting early intervention and prevention services. The Network will be supported and administered by FACS Western Sydney Nepean Blue Mountains (WSNBM) District, with assistance from NGO partners, but membership is not limited to FACS funded services.

Why We Did It

Clients and service providers alike have told us that early intervention services are too hard to find, and that when people do access services their experience is too often difficult and frustrating. This is because we have built a service system that is fragmented, inconsistent and confusing.

We wanted people, families and our communities to have a different experience. We wanted a new approach to practice that made providers easy to find and support easy to access. We decided to remove the systemic barriers that make it hard for services providers to meet the needs of clients, and to enable the mechanisms which make it easier for service providers to work together.