ACWA is pleased to announce the appointment of AbSec CEO, Tim Ireland, to our Board. The experience and insight that Tim brings to the table will be invaluable in our ongoing endeavours to improve outcomes for all vulnerable children, young people and families.
In terms of our desire to support these kinds of endeavours, we have been busy channelling our energy into a range of initiatives that aim to promote and embed strong collaborative practice across the government and non-government sectors.
On this issue, ACWA believes that the NSW Government’s recent announcement in relation to the establishment of the new multi-agency Stronger Communities Investment Unit should create opportunities for strong non-government voices in connection with the major Their Futures Matter reforms.
In other developments, I am pleased to report that ACWA has been funded for three months by the Government to engage a consultant to work with the joint Alternative Care Arrangements (ACA) Taskforce, member agencies and the Department, on reducing the number of children and young people in ACA placements.
On a related note, ACWA has also been working closely with My Forever Family and the Department on identifying strategies that will lead to improved carer recruitment, assessment, approval and retention practices and outcomes. In July, we brought members and Department representatives together for a joint discussion around this very issue. There was a strong recognition in the room concerning the need to improve practice in this area, along with a range of very helpful suggestions as to how to achieve this objective.
I would also like to thank the very large number of member agencies who attended the July briefing that we jointly convened with the Department on the PSP evaluation process. At this meeting, member agencies welcomed moves for the establishment of an independent advisory committee, which will give non-government service providers an important voice in the PSP evaluation process. This committee will be formed through an EOI process that will be jointly facilitated by the Centre for Evidence and Implementation, Communities and Justice, AbSec and ACWA. Following receipt of briefing material from the evaluators, we will provide further information to member agencies about this exercise.
ACWA has also been buoyed by the show of member support for our proposal to develop a child safety good practice tool. You will find further details about this work here. We look forward to keeping you updated as work progresses on this key sector initiative. Should you wish to discuss any aspect of this proposed work, please feel free to give me a call: 0409 782 614
Preparations are well underway for our next conference, which will take place at Sydney’s International Convention Centre, from August 24-26 next year. Please make sure you pencil these dates in, and stay tuned for more announcements.
On a final note, Foster and Kinship Care Week celebrations will open in Sydney on September 8, with the annual carer picnic day. My Forever Family is hosting this year’s event, with support from ACWA and other out-of-home care agencies. If you would like to volunteer, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to see you there.