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Protecting our most vulnerable children

Decrease the proportion of children and young people re-reported at risk of significant harm by 20% by 2023.

Young girl on swing

Why is this important?

Children and young people deserve to have the best possible start in life and to live free from abuse and neglect. Once a child has been reported at ‘risk of significant harm’, child protection practitioners support families to create change and provide safer homes for their children. Focusing on how many of these children are later re-reported at ‘risk of significant harm’ tells us whether we are creating sustainable change and safer homes. 

Achieving this Premier’s Priority will result in 20% fewer children and young people re-reported to the child protection system by 2023. 

How are we tracking?

Prior to June 2017, the proportion of children being re-reported at risk of significant harm was steadily rising. Following a peak of 41.5% in June 2017, a significant reduction in the re-report rate was achieved in the 2 years to June 2019. Though some of these gains were lost in the 12 months to June 2020, we continue to build on the good work underway and introduce new ways to ensure better lives for vulnerable children and their families. 

We are closely monitoring the available data around this priority due to concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic and recession could lead to heightened risk for the children in this cohort.  

Download the Protecting our most vulnerable children data information sheet (PDF, 156.43 KB)


What are we doing? 

Protecting our children was a Premier's Priority during the last term of government. Much was done to improve practice and lower re-reports during that time, leading to better outcomes for many children in NSW. Our current strategy builds on that strong foundation. There are 3 new areas of focus to ensure better outcomes for our most vulnerable children: 

More effective support, including supervision, training and coaching programs, will allow caseworkers to improve practice and achieve better outcomes for families. A project is underway to build on the agency’s current supervision program to support caseworkers’ professional development, to support them to provide the best possible service to vulnerable children and families. 

We know that Aboriginal children are over-represented in the child protection system and re-reported more often. We are addressing this by improving the services offered to Aboriginal families by focusing on 4 key practices:

  • Safety Networks
  • Family Group Conferencing
  • Cultural Consultations
  • Family Finding.

We are implementing ways to measure, assess and improve practice and the quality of casework and ensure continuous improvement, to get better outcomes for vulnerable children. 

Do you need help?

Are you a parent or carer needing help? 

Call Parent Line NSW for general counselling and information on 1300 130 052. The line is open 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 4pm to 9pm weekends. 

Do you 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
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