The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s $5.1 million investment into two important initiatives aimed at keeping children safe and helping vulnerable young people avoid falling into welfare dependency.
The Government has announced it will channel $1.2 million into an early intervention program to strengthen the parenting skills of at-risk parents, and a further $3.9 million into a trial providing increased support to help young people in out-of-home care move to independence, reducing the likelihood of homelessness and the many other pitfalls that so often befall young careleavers.
Both initiatives target two key areas of need identified under Third Action Plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020.
ACWA CEO Andrew McCallum, who is part of a non-government coalition established to help to implement the National Framework, says the Budget allocation, while modest, represents an encouraging sign of the Federal Government’s ongoing commitment to the national strategy dedicated to tackling the alarming rates of child abuse and neglect in Australia and delivering better outcomes for children and young people caught up in the child protection system.
“While substantive, long-term investment – particularly in the areas of prevention and early intervention – is necessary to keep children safe and enable them to lead healthy, happy lives, it is nevertheless heartening to see the Federal Government stand up in this way and recognise the National Framework as a critical platform that will help bring to an end the unacceptable levels of child abuse and neglect in our country,” Mr McCallum said.
The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies is the New South Wales peak body representing non-government organisations which provide services to vulnerable children, young people and their families.