The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) has welcomed child protection reforms announced by the NSW Government today aimed at giving the state’s most vulnerable children safe, permanent homes.
Under the new measures, $90 million will be channeled into two new internationally recognised intervention programs that will focus on keeping families together and be delivered by non-government agencies. A new means-tested adoption allowance will also be introduced to help improve pathways for foster families towards open adoption when safely restoring a child to their birth parents is not possible.
ACWA CEO Andrew McCallum has applauded the Government initiative. He said the attention and investment in the crucial area of family preservation is particularly warranted and welcome, but warned we need to be mindful that overseas models don’t always neatly translate into local circumstances.
“All children deserve a safe, loving home for life and we hope these latest reforms will go a long way in making this the reality for the 19,000 plus children currently in care in NSW, ” Mr McCallum said.
“It is vital we reduce the ongoing, devastating churn of children in out-of-home care.
“Returning children safely to their homes, or avoiding the circumstances where they are removed into care in the first place, should always be the number one priority.”
The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies is the NSW peak body representing non-government organisations which provide services to vulnerable children, young people and their families.