The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) has welcomed the long awaited release this week of David Tune’s Independent Review of Out of Home Care in NSW, saying it provides compelling grounds for NSW to adopt a public health approach to child protection.
ACWA CEO Andrew McCallum has described findings contained in the Tune Report as “eminently sensible”.
“We are surprised the NSW Government has taken so long to release this report given there is nothing in there that is overtly contentious,” Mr McCallum said.
“It makes it extremely difficult for our sector to work collaboratively with the Department for Family and Community Services (FACS) if we are unable to see the blueprint they are working from. However now this report has been made public, we look forward to working with FACS to ensure that the innovative strategies it recommends take root and blossom.”
Mr McCallum says the Tune Report makes it abundantly clear that there is no one way to turn the curve on child protection without major systemic change that is focused on addressing socio economic disadvantage.
He particularly welcomes the proposed establishment of a new NSW Family Investment Commission to co-ordinate and lead the system overhaul.
“While the government has taken steps to change its approach under the Their Futures Matter reforms, these measures do not have the far reaching impact of those recommended by Mr Tune,” Mr McCallum said.
“ACWA will continue to advocate for a strong government commitment to a public health model that tackles the underlying causes of child abuse and neglect, and provides early support to struggling families long before they come into contact with the child protection system.
“Only then will we begin to see a fall in the number of children entering care.”
ACWA is the NSW peak body representing non-government organisations that provide services to vulnerable children, young people and their families.
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