The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) says it is disappointed the Public Service Association (PSA) has chosen to use the release of David Tune’s Independent Review of Out of Home Care in NSW this week as an opportunity to denigrate the exemplary work of non-government (NGO) out-of-home care services in NSW.
ACWA CEO Andrew McCallum says it is unfortunate to see the union take such a negative line on this long awaited report, which lays out a sensible blueprint for the future direction of child protection in NSW.
“It would appear the PSA was in receipt of a very different Tune Report to what everybody else was reading,” Mr McCallum said.
“Where most have seen the recommendations contained in this report as a pivotal opportunity to build a better approach for vulnerable families and children, the PSA has instead made their vested interests clear in calling for a return of jobs to the public service.”
Mr McCallum said the PSA has misused cost comparisons contained in the Tune Report between government and non-government servicesto dishonestly press their case.
“The figures outlined by Mr Tune reflect a discrepancy at the time between the accredited care being delivered by non-government agencies and the non-accredited care, which did not even meet the mininum standards, provided by FACS,” Mr McCallum said.
“FACS is now an accredited agency, which means if a similar analysis was done today the costs would be comparable.
“It is almost 10 years since Justice James Wood recommended the transfer of out-of-home care services in NSW to non-government organisations, being of the view that they were better placed to achieve greater stability and better outcomes for children in care. And that is still the case.
“Vested self interest as demonstrated by the PSA seldom equates to good outcomes for children, nor does it come close to meeting the Aboriginal Placement Principles.”
ACWA is the NSW peak body representing non-government organisations that provide services to vulnerable children, young people and their families.
Media contact: Andrew McCallum 0409 221 firstname.lastname@example.org
Media enquiries: Libby McCalman 0418 659 525 email@example.com