The innovative Family by Family program is this year’s recipient of the coveted Good Design Award for Social Impact – the highest honour for design and innovation in Australia.

Family by Family brings together families who have been through challenging times (‘Sharing Families’) with those who are struggling (‘Seeking Families’), to build connections, break down isolation and share life skills. The program was co-designed by The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) in conjunction with families, and is delivered by leading not-for-profit Uniting Communities.

‘We congratulate Family by Family – and TACSI – on this fantastic, well-earned achievement,’ says Uniting Communities Chief Executive, Simon Schrapel. ‘This wonderful program extends beyond traditional support methods, empowering families to support and learn from each other.

‘Much of what we do at Uniting Communities involves supporting children and families before they reach a crisis point. Family by Family is a shining example of focusing on people’s strengths to nurture compassion and resilience in families so that they can thrive – together and as individuals.

‘It is a leading example of what is needed and what works to help children remain living safely at home and take pressure of our overwhelmed child protection services in South Australia.’

The annual Good Design Awards, presented on Thursday 11 July, is Australia’s most prestigious international recognition for design and innovation, celebrating the country’s best new products and services, including excellence in social impact.

The Good Design Awards Jury praised Family by Family, saying, ‘This is an outstanding example of co-designing an effective response to a substantial social challenge. The scope and maturity of this project that has evolved and adapted over its implementation demonstrates the potential of Design Thinking to drive and sustain a positive social impact.

‘Furthermore, Family by Family is a radical reimagining of a traditional top-down institutional response with a peer-to-peer community solution.’

‘Receiving a Good Design Award at this level is a significant achievement given the very high calibre of entries received this year,’ says Dr Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia.

Family by Family Service Manager, Danielle Madsen, says that there are many reasons for the program’s success.

‘So many families are suffering from isolation and loneliness and to have a local family who they can turn to makes a big difference,’ she says. ‘Just by having someone in your corner and gaining a little bit of confidence, so much can happen.

‘In many cases, we’ve seen Seeking Families eventually become Sharing Families, showing just how far they’ve come.’

For more information about Family by Family, visit

For comment

Simon Schrapel
Chief Executive
Uniting Communities
0411 643 132

Danielle Madsen
Service Manager, Family by Family
Uniting Communities
0402 667 951