Today Minister Washington announced that $200m has been allocated to cover the funding shortfall for children in out-of-home care. This funding is very important for those children and young people who cannot live at home, especially to those who are living in residential care because they need more intensive support, or because there are simply not enough foster carers.
CEO of the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA), Maree Walk, is heartened to hear Minister Washington's statement regarding the announcement in the upcoming budget.
“We know that there is significant pressure for non-government agencies delivering foster-care, kinship care and residential care. There is a shortage of carers, a shortage of residential workers, a shortage of housing stock - on top of the cost of living pressures that put all households under a lot of pressure,” Ms Walk said.
“ACWA is relieved that the $200m will allow the system to address these issues, especially for those young people in hotels and serviced apartments. I know that the Department of Communities and Justice and the NGOs are working hard to address the system issues so that we can get children and young people the care they deserve.”
Ms Walk added, "A lot can be done - diverting more children from care by working closely with extended family - including Aboriginal families - when there are concerns for children's safety; providing more rehabilitation and domestic violence supports to help the parents themselves, and of course to improve the care system so it is centred around healing and helping children. The $200m will help towards turning the system around.”
“We are encouraged by the Minister's focus on the child protection system. Child protection agencies are really looking forward to designing a better system to address child and family needs.”
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.
Maree Walk, ACWA CEO
M: 0407 453 548