The Community Sector response to the Department for Child Protection and Family Support's Discussion Paper 'Out-of-Home Care: Strategic Directions in Western Australia 2015-2020'

 

 

 

 

The Community Sector response presents the shared views of the Alliance for Children at Risk and the Children Youth and Families Agencies Association of WA (CYFAA).

Together these two bodies represent the majority of non-government organisations that provide out-of-home care and related services to children, young people and their families in Western Australia, including services that reduce the risk of children entering out-of-home care and support young people leaving care.

The Community Sector strongly agrees that change is needed in the design, funding and delivery of services for vulnerable children in WA. It is committed to working in partnership with the Department for Child Protection and Family Support to find the best way to structure and implement services.

Better outcomes for children and young people ultimately depend on how the principles and strategies outlined in the Discussion Paper are implemented.

The Community Sector broadly supports the reform agenda and statements of principle. Areas of concern relate to implementation, including the timetable for implementation and Community Sector involvement in developing and implementing strategies.

The Discussion Paper predominantly focuses on issues relating to services for children living in out-of-home care arrangements. However, the Community Sector is also very concerned about the experiences of children and young people before entering care and after leaving care.

The Community Sector shares the Department’s concern about the rising rate at which Aboriginal children are entering care. The Discussion Paper looks at how the out-of-home care system can respond to the increasing numbers. However, it is important to allocate resources to examine the causes of this disturbing trend and to develop strategies to address them.

The Community Sector response sets out the areas where it is in agreement with the Discussion Paper, issues for further discussion and presents 34 recommendations.

Download the Community Sector response (277 kb)