The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) has welcomed new data showing the rate of children and young people entering out-of-home care in NSW is declining.
Figures released this week by the Productivity Commission in its Report on Government Services reveal entries to care in NSW have dropped from 2.3 per 1,000 children in 2015-16 to 1.2 per 1,000 in 2017-18.
Acting CEO Dr Wendy Foote said that while these statistics – which offer key insight into the functioning of our child protection system – are encouraging, there is more work to do to effectively tackle the problem of child abuse and neglect in our community.
“These latest figures offer a ray of hope that reforms being implemented across NSW to keep families safely together are making a difference, and ACWA is extremely proud of the critical role the non-government workforce is playing in supporting children under these new initiatives as well as its traditional early intervention services,” Dr Foote said.
“However, there needs to be a firm and ongoing focus on giving vulnerable families reliable access to universal and targeted early intervention services if NSW is going to effectively stem the numbers of children and young people entering care.
“We are looking to see a greater level of coordinated work across government departments such as Family and Community Services, health, education and juvenile justice to link up services and to ensurethe inclusion of all vulnerable children and families.”
The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies is the NSW peak body representing non-government organisations that provide services to vulnerable children, young people and their families.
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