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Protecting our kids

Published 14th October, 2016

Decrease the percentage of children and young people re-reported at risk of significant harm by 15 per cent

Why is this important?

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

There are strong links between abuse and neglect in childhood and adult mental health issues, drug and alcohol use, poor educational outcomes and unemployment.

Why focus on re-reporting?

This tells us the interventions used to protect children at risk of significant harm are working, and these children are living in more stable homes. Some re-reporting is inevitable, as it reflects the changing circumstances of families.

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In 2014-15, FACS worked with nearly 11,000 children reported at risk of significant harm - achieving their case plan goals. However, 40.5 per cent were re-reported to the FACS Child Protection Helpline within 12 months.

How is the government tracking?

Graph shows 40.5 per cent of children were re-reported in 2015-16

How is the priority measured?

The measure counts children that are re-reported where a safety and risk assessment was performed, the case plan was closed with the reason "plan goal achieved", and the re-report occurred within 12 months of plan closure. The impact of recent interventions is expected to impact performance from March 2017. For further detail, check the FACS website.

What is the government doing?

Actions underway

The government is strengthening support for frontline caseworkers and their managers with:

  • refresher training in key practice tools, policy and case management for frontline staff across more than 30 sites by the end of 2017
  • new practice guidelines rolled out statewide offering clearer guidance to caseworkers.

FACS is also doing more to understand the drivers of re-reporting and how best to address these.

Read some casework stories from the front line

Child protection programs

The government is investing 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:

  • $233 million per year in community, earlier intervention and intensive services, which collectively support more than 130,000 vulnerable children.
  • An additional $190 million over four years to deliver approximately 1000 places in intensive therapeutic programs to prevent out-of-home care entries, increase exits and improve outcomes for children in care. Half of all these program places will be available for Aboriginal families.

Community partnerships

Partnerships with the non-government sector and communities are fundamental to making a positive difference to children’s lives. By strengthening teamwork between FACS and partner agencies, vulnerable children and families can be referred to the most appropriate service, helping reduce re-reporting. 

What can you do?

Keeping children safe is everyone’s business. Children and young people are part of the community and need responsible adults to look out for them and take any necessary action. This may be taking action yourself, referring the family to an agency or, if necessary, reporting to the FACS Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (TTY 1800 212 936).

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?

Foster carers provide a home for children who cannot remain with their family. Our community relies on this generosity to help raise our most vulnerable children in safe and nurturing environments.

Published 14th October, 2016