Targeted Earlier Intervention Reforms

As the peak body for young people and youth services in NSW, Youth Action supports preventing issues for young people, and getting them help early when they need it. This prevention and early intervention work is carried out mainly by non-government organisations who are contracted to support vulnerable young people. To read our joint peaks prevention and early intervention paper click here.

In August 2015 the NSW Department of Family and Community Services  (FaCS - now called Department of Community and Justicebegan a reform to the early intervention sector, including many youth services.  The objective of these reforms (called "TEI": Targeted Earlier Intervention) is to improve service systems to make them more effective in supporting clients and communities. 

The process can be long and complicated. You can find lots of information on the FaCS website 

For FAQs, here's some of the answers.

Where are reforms up to? Recommissioning November 2019

The recommissioning process started 1st November 2019 and will be completed by 30th March 2020. New contracts commence 1st July 2020.

The recommissioning process is a negotiation of contract. If you have chosen Pathway 1 and aligning with TEI priorities, the negotiations will be around how long your contract will be. Negotiations must be completed by 30th March otherwise DCJ cannot guarantee they can provide a new contract.

DCJ are offering flexible contracts starting from 1 year with a possibility to extend up to 5 years depending on how much change is required.

Negotiations will happen with your CPO or a district manager and will be at a district level. If you wish to speak to someone else regarding the negotiations, contact your district director. DCJ have advised that they are speaking to each district around the process of negotiations.

These are negotiations, so you have the opportunity to demonstrate what your program already does and why it is effective. You can bring to the table your own evidence base – whether it’s local knowledge, consultation information, survey evaluations, your own referral records, or staff knowledge. If you believe that your existing programs cover the district priorities, or if your programs were to disappear a gap would be left within the community, then this is the opportunity to talk about it.

You do not need to have a program logic, be on DEX, or have completed the service mapping activities prior to contract negotiations. You do need to have a plan as to when they will occur which can happen in discussion with your CPO.

If you need support during the negotiation process, contact Freya on 8354 3700 or .

DCJ is yet to confirm what additional support will be available for individual services at this point in time as they are unsure what the specific needs will be.


Previous update: October 2019

On the 30th of September 2019 the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) released a letter and fact sheet outlining the recommissioning process of the new Targeted Earlier Intervention (TEI) program. 

To help you make sense of the changes and new information, we’ve put together some key points and information about where you can access support. 

Key points and dates: 

  • November 2019 - Negotiations for new contract commence 
  • All recommissioned TEI services will align with the TEI outcomes framework.  
  • Flexible contracts will be available to allow services more time to align with the outcomes frameworks. 
  • March 2020 - Finalisation of contract negotiations commence  


Negotiations start with your CPO in November 2019.  

  • Negotiations with your CPO in November 2019 are about what your contract will look like from 1st July 2020.  
  • Your CPO will organise a time to come speak to you directly about it. These conversations will be based around the district priorities which will be made available to you via your CPO before negotiations start. These priorities have been determined through a combination of data available for each area. 
  • It is important to note that the district priorities do not mean that your service necessarily needs to change its focus or priority areas. This will be a part of the discussion with your CPO. If you do plan on continuing your current service delivery, you need to be able to demonstrate to your CPO the need for your program, who it targets, and why there is a need for that program in the community. If you haven’t started capturing this information, through whatever means are required, now is the time to start doing that. This is where your program logic comes in handy. 
  • Your program logic is a critical resource to tell story of your program/service. Program logics demonstrate the outcomes of your program, why you do what you do, and what resources are required. 

For more information on program logics click here 


New Flexible Contract Agreements 

  • DCJ will offer up to 5-year contracts for services who are ready to transfer to the new TEI arrangements.  
  • DCJ acknowledge that not all services will be completely ready for this transition, and are offering contracts with an initial 1 to 3 years, but an extension for up to 5 years in total. 
  • These initial years offered with the new contracts are an opportunity for a service to be able to prepare themselves for any changes. 
  • The extension of the contract will occur as you progress through any changes and requirements agreed upon in the discussion with your CPO.  


Support is available 

You do not need to go through these changes alone. DCJ is offering support through a variety of peak bodies to ensure that all services feel ready for the changes.  

  • NCOSS is offering individualised support to services who request it. 
  • Absec has cultural connection workshops available for those who will be working with Aboriginal families and communities.   
  • For questions around the Data Exchange (DEX) system, you can contact the hotline1800 020 283 

If you have additional questions call Freya at Youth Action on 8354 3700 or at 


Previous update: July 2019 

Both Youth Action and the youth sector support the reform agenda, wanting to see changes occur which allow higher quality services to be delivered to the young people who need them. Youth Action has been extremely active in enhancing the TEI reform process through communication and advocacy and has heavily consulted youth services to support this work. 

The Department of Community and Justice (DCJ) is moving to an outcomes based model. This means that programs need to demonstrate the outcomes which they are achieving with their client group.


We encourage services to know three key points about their program, and to be able to demonstrate them through the use of data: 

  • Know who you work with 
  • Know why you work with them 
  • Know what the outcomes achieved by working with them 


These three points will support and strengthen already existing programs, and can be emphasised in a program logic (a key point in the TEI reforms). 

The use of relevant data can be incredibly useful for service delivery, funding opportunities and grant applications. It’s a way to capture what you’re doing and what impacts your work has on your community. 

If you’re unsure of whether you are collecting relevant data, how or to do it effectively, give Freya a call on 8354 3700 to discuss further.  

There are currently two options for services: Pathway 1 or Pathway 2. We have created a flow chart to guide you on either pathway. View and download the Targeted Early Intervention Decision Making Tree here.

Pathway 1: you are choosing to align with new TEI outcomes and priorities. There are a number of steps to take. We encourage services to begin taking this steps if they are choosing Pathway 1. 

Pathway 2: you are choosing to stay with your current programs and not aligning with TEI.  

You have until June 2020 to decide which pathway to take. However, as the process of Pathway 1 can be quite lengthy; we advise that you make the decision sooner rather than later. However, FaCS have not been able to confirm this as of yet. We will continue to keep members updated on any further developments.  

Download attachments:

Service Mapping Activity

Program Logic



We encourage you to discuss TEI reforms and changes with your FaCS/DCJ CPO for more details at a district level.  


If you have experienced any changes to your funding or lose of funding due to TEI, or have any questions please get in touch with Krissy for Western Sydney or Freya for the rest of NSW on 8354 3700 to discuss further. 


Local TEI processes 

TEI went through a local design phasemeaning that FaCS teams in districts: 

  • Assembled a collaborative local governance group; 
  • Undertook local service mapping and planning; 
  • Transitioned services towards models which meet the needs of the local community. 


Their Future Matters (TFM) 

In the last few years, there has been more and more discussion around TFM. TFM is an overhaul of the coordination and delivery of services to children, young people and families from early intervention to more intensive support services. Details regarding the implementation of TFM are still in consultation. 

The approach to TFM currently involves: 

  • moving away from a placement-based system to one where children and families are at the centre of everything we do. Their needs are considered first, to determine the support they require 
  • using an investment approach to focus on achieving large-scale benefits for individuals and the system, now and into the future 
  • leading a whole-of-government approach to transform the lives of vulnerable children, young people and families. 

At this point in time, we have been told that the government is still discussing how TEI and TFM will work together. Once we have updates how TEI will fit with TFM, we will pass on information to our members.  

We believe that it is important for all services to understand what is TEI and TFM are and how their service fits within these two reforms. If you wish to discuss further, contact Krissy for Western Sydney areas or Freya for the rest of NSW on 8354 3700. 

For more information on TFM please visit the website  

To view the recently released Forecasting Future Outcomes click here  


What has Youth Action done?  

Some of our support has included: 

  • Consistent communication to the youth sector via YapRap and a specific TEI reforms email list; 
  • Providing TEI reform updates at interagencies and other youth sector gatherings, including co-hosting an evidence presentation with ARACY; 
  • Providing specialist advice to FaCS based on: 
  • Our coordination of the Nepean-Blue Mountains Shared Outcomes Pilot; 
  • Our participation in the leadership group of the first local TEI co-design process, Western Sydney’s Linker Project; 
  • Reviewing and providing comment on draft TEI program documents provided by FaCS; 
  • Participation in a range of meetings and forums related to TEI design/processes (e.g. Meeting with the Minister for Community Services, senior bureaucrats, TEI peaks meetings, outcomes development workshops, sector assistance strategy workshops); 
  • Meeting with and training the youth sector all around the state to support them around TEI reforms; 
  • Coordinating and liaising with other peak bodies; 
  • Supporting local planning and consultation during Phase 4. 


Past Communications: 

You can see some of our major TEI statements below: 

March 2017: Sector Update 

February 2017: TEI reform joint peaks communique 

November 2015: TEI peaks statement of principles 

October 2015: TEI Consultation Paper submission on behalf of the youth sector 


Want to be kept up to date on TEI? Sign up to YAPRAP or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.