Protecting our most vulnerable children
People and programs working to provide children and families with the best possible future are in focus this week, as the NSW Government shines a light on the supports available to young people and communities during Child Protection Week.
Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said the NSW Government remains committed to protecting the state’s most vulnerable children.
“Every child deserves to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment where they are loved and supported,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.
“We all have a role to play in this and we thank our families, communities, service providers, carers and staff for their tireless work to help put children first.
“The NSW Government continues to make record investments in this vital area. From rental subsidies and early intervention services for children and young people, to initiatives that help care leavers find their feet and new and soon-to-be parents stay on track.”
This year’s theme for Child Protection Week is ‘every child, in every community, needs a fair go’, highlighting the importance of ensuring every young person and family has what it needs to create a safe and supportive environment to secure a brighter future.
The NSW Government funds a range of initiatives, including programs supporting:
- children in the first years of life such as Pregnancy Family Conferencing and Aboriginal Child and Family Centres;
- vulnerable families and communities, such as Targeted Earlier Intervention (TEI);
- children and families at risk of contact with the child protection system such as Family Preservation and Family Group Conferencing;
- young people leaving care such as scholarships, traineeships, Ladder and Foyer and financial assistance through the Aftercare Allowance and specialist aftercare services; and
- young people at risk of homelessness like Rent Choice Youth.
More than 9,256 families have been supported by Family Preservation programs since July 2020 and 813,649 people (children, young people and adults) received Targeted Early Intervention services in 2021-22, including 11,020 families who were referred to appropriate assistance by the Family Connect and Support program.
Minister Maclaren-Jones said government and NGOs continue to work together to provide wrap-around support for families with vulnerable children.
“We’re committed to investing in evidence-based programs to help keep young people safe and have the best start in life,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.
Child Protection Week runs from 4 to 10 September.