The NSW Government has announced that it will deliver internationally tested preventative and diversionary programs, as well as making it easier for foster carers to adopt children in their care, under the most significant reforms to child protection and out of home care in almost a decade.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward have announced that a range of non-government agencies will deliver internationally tested preventative and diversionary programs, Multi Systemic Therapy Child Abuse (MST-CAN) and Neglect and Family Functioning Therapy Child Welfare (FFT-CW), to work with families where there has been physical abuse or neglect.
The Government will invest $90 million into the two programs over four years, delivering support to 900 children per year. The family preservation and restoration models will be delivered by non-government organisations in 15 priority locations. Ms Goward said that these reforms will bring together government agencies and non-government organisations to work with the community to provide improved support for children and families at their most vulnerable. “Children in, or at risk of entering out of home care, will also be receiving a coordinated package of support based on their needs, ensuring that we, as a Government, are meeting children’s needs and empowering them to reach their full potential,” Ms Goward said.
A means-tested adoption allowance was also announced by the Premier and Minister Goward which will help families progress to adopting the child in their care.“We are committed to supporting families to stay safely together, but when that is not possible we need to ensure children have a safe home for life,” Ms Berejiklian said.