More Support Needed for Vulnerable Children - NSW Peak Body
12 June 2012 at 9:15 am
The NSW peak body for children’s welfare has called on the Government to ensure the needs of vulnerable children are amongst its top priorities when the state budget is released.
The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies chief executive Andrew McCallum hopes the budget will deliver the “dollars necessary to fund long awaited child protection reforms advocated by Justice James Wood following his 2008 inquiry into NSW’s child protection system”.
“The progress already made towards implementing Justice Wood’s key recommendation to transfer out-of-home care services to the non-government sector indicates a genuine commitment on the NSW Government’s behalf to doing better for children and young people,” McCallum said.
However, he added that “ongoing investment” was needed to make sure the the transition was orderly and effective.
McCallum pointed to the importance of “early intervention, diversion, restoration and permanency planning programs” as strategies essential to “building a sustainable system that delivers outcomes for this most vulnerable group of our community.”
Justice Wood’s 2008 inquiry into NSW’s child protection services noted the “challenge facing all child protection systems in Australia, and in particular NSW as the largest, is sufficiently resourcing flexible prevention and early intervention services so as to reduce the numbers of children and young people who require the state to step in to keep them safe”.