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Protecting our kids

Published 10th September, 2018

Decrease the percentage of children and young people re-reported at risk of significant harm by 15 per cent by 2020 (based on the 2019 cohort of children).

Why is this important to the people of NSW?

Children and young people deserve to be protected from abuse and neglect, and have the best possible start in life.


There are many reasons why children or young people are at risk of abuse and neglect.

Their parents may: 

  • be experiencing a lot of stress such as unemployment, illness, isolation or loneliness
  • be alcohol dependent or have mental health issues or there may be domestic violence in the household
  • not have experienced good parenting themselves.

Why focus on re-reporting?

Once a child has been reported at ‘risk of significant harm’, the child protection system works with that family to create change and a more stable home for the child.

Focusing on how many of these children are subsequently re-reported ‘at risk of significant harm’, tells us if the interventions used to protect children are working to create sustainable change, and that these children are living in stable homes.

children 2 final

In 2016-17, nearly 120,000 children were reported to the child protection helpline, of which 72 per cent were at risk of significant harm.

How are we tracking?

From June 2016 to June 2017, FACS caseworkers helped more than 10,000 children reported at risk of significant harm to achieve their goals.

As at June 2018, only 36.2 per cent of these were re-reported (down from 41.5 per cent in June 2017). This means that more than 500 children across NSW were not re-reported and are now living in safer and more stable homes.

While there is always more to do, performance is on track to achieve the target of 34.4 per cent re-reporting by 2020, ensuring improvement in the lives of vulnerable children and their families.

What are we doing?

Strengthening support for caseworkers and their managers

We are strengthening the work of our frontline caseworkers to better support the vulnerable children and young people in our community by:

  • providing refresher training in key practice tools, policy and case management for caseworkers in metro and regional Community Service Centres. At least 70 per cent of the training will be delivered in regional areas
  • new practice guidelines rolled out statewide offering clearer guidance to caseworkers.

Child protection programs

In the 2018-2019 budget, we have invested in services in regional and metropolitan areas to ensure children and young people are protected from abuse and neglect, and have the best possible lives including:

  • $1.2 billion to support out-of-home care and permanency support, guardianship and adoption.
  • $42.1 million in new funding for more case workers and case work support workers.
  • $149.5 million for targeted early intervention services for parenting, youth, family support and community development.
  • $39.2 million to keep families together through evidence-based models, including improving family preservation through Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect and Functional Family Therapy Child Welfare services to help at least 900 families a year in priority locations.
  • $148 million ($31.6 million in 2018–19) over four years to support children with high needs in out-of-home care.

Community partnerships

We are building partnerships between government, non-government and communities to deliver better quality and long-term support for vulnerable children and families.

Case study

Family and Community Services support vulnerable people and families to participate in social and economic life and build stronger communities. FACS caseworkers work with families to provide care and improve the life experiences of vulnerable children, young people and families.

Linda's story

Lindas story

“The day I knew Linda had some faith in me was the day she asked if I wanted to hold her gorgeous baby. Ruby represents everything that is most precious to Linda, so it was a great privilege to be allowed to cuddle her. It was definitely the best day of my career,” – Joel Frost, FACS caseworker.

Read more about Joel and Linda’s journey 

Cassie’s story

Cassies story

“The most important thing for me was having a caseworker who listened, was supportive and persevered despite my protests. If it was not for Janay I definitely wouldn’t have gone through rehab and I certainly wouldn’t be getting my boys back - she changed my life,” – Cassie, mum.

Read more about Cassie's uplifting and inspiring story

What can you do?

Are you a parent or carer needing help?

Call Parent Line NSW for general counselling and information on 1300 1300 52. The line is open 9am-9pm Monday-Friday and 4pm-9pm weekends.

Know someone who needs help?

  • Report suspected abuse (physical, sexual or emotional) to the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (TTY 1800 212 936)
  • Call the Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463. The line is open 24/7.

Are you a young person who needs help?

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 000
  • To talk about anything call the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
  • To discuss care arrangements, call the CREATE Foundation on 1800 655 105
  • For legal assistance, call Legal Aid NSW's Youth Hotline on 1800 101 810.

Could you be a foster carer?

Our community relies on your generosity to help raise our most vulnerable children in safe and nurturing environments.

Published 10th September, 2018
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