The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) has welcomed the NSW Government’s continued investment in initiatives aimed at supporting the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and families, as announced in the NSW State Budget.
ACWA CEO, Steve Kinmond, said ACWA is particularly pleased to see the government maintain its ongoing commitment to funding critical family support and preservation programs that seek to strengthen the capacity of parents to safely care for their children.
Among the raft of budget measures, $171.9 million has been earmarked over the next four years to continue supported evidence-based intervention programs that have demonstrated success in keeping families safely together.
“The drop in the numbers of NSW children entering out-of-home care of recent times stands as testament to the success and necessity of these types of programs,” Mr Kinmond said.
“Early action is the best investment we can make to keep children safe and families together. In this regard, it is extremely encouraging to see the government acknowledge and act upon this, through the allocation of ongoing funds.”
Mr Kinmond has also welcomed the government’s focus in this year’s budget on improving educational supports for students, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
“The educational inequality experienced by disadvantaged children and young people has been a longstanding concern for ACWA and our members,” he said.
“On a related note, we are also encouraged to see funds channelled into delivering 100 new school-based nurses to support the health and wellbeing needs of students and their families.”
By contrast, Mr Kinmond said that ACWA is disappointed the budget has missed the mark in terms of addressing the inadequate funding for residential out-of-home care services that seek to support some of the most vulnerable young people in our state.
“Throughout the year, ACWA has provided detailed evidence that demonstrates the inadequate funding in this area,” he said.
“Despite this evidence, the funding shortfall has not been addressed in the budget.”
The Association of Children's Welfare Agencies is the NSW peak body representing non-government organisations that provide services to vulnerable children, young people and their families.
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