Kids in care at centre of reform
Under the NSW Government’s Their Future Matters: A New Approach there will be:
- a new commissioning unit within the NSW Department of Family and Community Services who will be responsible for ensuring children and families receive the services across government departments
- the power, resources and responsibility within the FACS unit to tailor services to meet the needs of children and families in a coordinated way (e.g. education, drug, alcohol, mental health and domestic violence services)
- funding for new evidence-based programs which have been internationally tried and tested in over 350 sites
- new outcomes-based contracts to deliver the services.
The reforms follow an independent review by former senior public servant David Tune.
Minister for Family and Community Services Brad Hazzard said the numbers of children in care had doubled during the past ten years, to almost 20,000 children.
“There are too many children in care, there are too many who suffer poor outcomes in care and this inter-generational tragedy has to stop,” Mr Hazzard said.
“This is truly ground-breaking reform. The silos that have hindered us in giving vulnerable children and families the support they need are going to be broken down."
The reforms will begin with children under 12 in residential care. The children will receive health, mental health and psychological interventions so that they can have a permanent stable home.
There will be support programs to see whether they can live with their immediate family or other relatives. The next option is to find permanent homes through open adoption or settling with a foster family.