Let's put the children first - 8 key principles

 

 

 

Here are  8 key principles to create a strong, healthy future for young people in out-of-home care.

They were developed by Community Sector organisations that provide out-of-home care services for children and young people in Western Australia, who collaborated to develop a set of principles to guide reform in the sector.  Download the  key principles and messages [247 kb].

The key principles emphasise the strength of partnership – between the Community Sector and the Government, and between organisations – and the importance of placing the child at the centre of all planning and care.

CYFAA and the Alliance have adopted the key principles and associated messages as the basis for approaching policy and practice in child protection generally and especially in out-of-home care.

If you would like to know more about the key principles or would like to work with us to strengthen the partnership between the Community Sector and Government, and create a strong, healthy future for young people in out-of-home care, please get in touch.

Background

Underlying the principles is a strong commitment to work closely with government to achieve an out-of-home care system that provides children and young people with quality care and a sense of belonging, and a stable environment where their voices are heard in all decisions affecting their lives.

The State Government formalised its wish to put the interests of citizens at the centre of the relationship between the public and community sectors in the Delivering Community Services in Partnership Policy 2011. At the heart of this policy is the drive for a productive working relationship between government agencies and the not-for-profit community sector, based on trust, collaboration, accountability and effective and sustainable service delivery.

The Department for Child Protection and Family Support (CPFS) has statutory responsibility to support children and young people in the CEO’s care, protect children and young people from abuse, and support people at risk or in crisis. The Children and Community Services Act 2004 recognises that this is not a responsibility of government alone: communities have a strong role to play in safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children.

The Alliance for Children at Risk (Alliance) and the Children Youth and Families Agencies Association of WA (CYFAA) represent, between them, 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.

In January 2015, the Alliance and CYFAA member organisations met to consider the CPFS Out-of-Home Care Strategic Directions in Western Australia 2015-2020 Discussion Paper. The Community Sector organisations overwhelmingly endorsed the framework for reforming out-of-home care, as set out in the Discussion Paper, and provided a series of recommendations about implementation of the strategic plan. Download the Community Sector response, Ambition for Children: Let's put the children first [283 kb] or read more here.

The organisations gathered again in May 2015 to establish the  8 key principles for delivering out-of-home care and protecting children.