Introducing our new Family by Family ‘Quality Friends’

We’re thrilled to announce our four new Quality Friends, who play an important role in helping us do the best for our Family by Family families.

1 June 2022

The TACSI team

What is a Quality Friend?

Quality Friends are families with lived experience of the Family by Family network. They have either been Seeking or Sharing families, and sometimes both. Quality Friends deeply understand best practices with families in the program, and conduct conversations with all the participants to help inform continuous improvement. In other words, they help us to keep doing our best for families.

What is Family by Family? 

Co-designed with South Australian families for families, our award-winning scaffolded peer-to-peer support model Family by Family helps families experiencing setbacks by engaging and training families who have been through tough times to help other families going through tough times. Over the last decade, Family by Family has supported over 2,000 Australian families to make lasting change in their lives.

Family by Family is one of our People Powered responses, which seek to create a world where people and communities have the tools and capacity to support each other, scaffolded by social work and community development practice, theory and practitioners.


Why do we need Quality Friends?

Family by Family is dedicated to co-production and quality practice and delivery. We want the program to be continually informed by the reality of what families, practitioners, delivery partners and commissioners are experiencing and seeing as a need. 

We know that Family by Family presents a blended practice approach; merging practice and theory from social work and community development. Our focus is on developing evidence and practice for this new way of supporting community and so, as part of the service response, we have co-designed a Quality System to support the continued delivery of  Family by Family at scale.

The intent is to make sure all those involved in the delivery system can see and understand best practice and areas of further development and continuous improvement. These elements are how you know you are delivering Family by Family rather than any other peer or community response.

Quality Friends is just one element of the co-designed Quality System of Family by Family.  They are less of an accountability measure to the program and more of support to the entire system; one that amplifies and echoes back the voice of the families to the system (NGOs, TACSI and government). 

In its first round of prototyping, our hunch is that their relationships across the Family by Family ecosystem will enable faster and more agile feedback loops to TACSI, our delivery partners and commissioners.

Five minutes with our new Quality Friends

Meet Fawzia Rahimi

Q: Why did you become a Quality Friend?

 In Family by Family, it’s essential to have a communication channel and a quality role with the community and families. With more connection, communication, and contribution from families, it will lead to more understanding of what is working well  and achieve feedback to make the program better.  

Some of my favourite values in the program is that: no family is ever perfect, and families are the experts in their own lives.  In Family by Family, the Family voice needs to remain at the centre of quality, and this is especially important  as the program grows.

Fawzia Rahimi
Fawzia Rahimi

Meet Jasmin De Kort

Q: Why did you become a Quality Friend?

I became a Quality Friend because I’m passionate about Family by Family and wanted to give back to a program that helped me. I love talking to families and coaches about effective quality improvements, and giving families a voice to drive change and help our community connections grow. 

Q: What does People Power mean to you?

People Power is when everyday people are able to make change when given the opportunity for their own lives. It’s when people come together with all different values, views and work together for solutions. 

Q: What unique ‘super power’ do you bring to the role?

Problem solving, and being able to think outside of the box of ideas. 

Jasmin De Kort
Jasmin De Kort

Meet Melissa Hughes

Q: Why did you become a Quality Friend? 

For me, being a Quality Friend means being able to support service lens delivery to involve compassion, nurturing relationships and connections.

Q: What does People Power mean to you?

For me, People Power means being able to stand alongside others to connect and make change for the future. The People Power comes from those who are living the daily struggles our system puts on the community. Supporting the system to make changes in a way that gives families the opportunity to have input in the delivery. 

Q: What unique ‘super power’ do you bring to the role?

Having a deep understanding of how we can nurture those around us who work from a service lens to shift their professional mindset and have a more compassionate way of working and seeing things.

Meet Melissa Hughes
Melissa Hughes

Meet Sarah Menzel

Q: Why did you become a Quality Friend?

To allow families to have a voice in a family-centred program, and to help deliver effective delivery and quality improvements. This role will reflect the vision of Family by Family by ensuring that people help people, and by challenging the norm that quality assessment needs to be done by an outside professional.

Q: What does People Power mean to you?

Change that is driven by the people that the service or program affects. It means people with lived experience working alongside professionals and academics, and given equal voice and power. Family by Family is quite profound: there is this incredibly unique mix of women and families, with this wealth of knowledge, experience and creative juices all in this one space. How do we as a society tap into this truly human resource and use it to make endless possibilities in our communities? And it’s contagious, once one person speaks passionately and genuinely it spreads like wildfire, and it’s beautiful! It’s a sustainable and roaring energy source.

Q: What unique ‘super power’ do you bring to the role?

I can see the strength in others, and help them recognise how their strengths and experiences can be used as a source of wisdom to share and encourage others. There is always something we are meant to learn from others, and something we can teach them and I am always seeking those moments.

Sarah Menzel
Sarah Menzel
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