Cuppa Catch Up With the Minister

Representatives from agencies across the sector welcomed the opportunity to meet with Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward over afternoon tea last week.

ACWA and AbSec hosted the event in order to give member agencies the opportunity to hear directly from the Minister about major reforms taking place within NSW’s child protection system under the Their Futures Matter and Permanency Support Program packages, and what these changes mean for those working at coalface. Both reforms, Ms Goward stressed, are about tailoring supports to individual needs and helping families develop their own resilience and independence.

The Minister praised the sector for its agility and flexibility in responding to the many changes happening across the system as a result of these two reform packages, noting the consultation efforts of both ACWA and AbSec to help identify the needs of the NGO sector in relation to the implementation of the Permanency Support Program. She also acknowledged that more has to be done to address the over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people in care.

Following her address, Ms Goward and senior FACS staff fielded questions from the room on a range of issues including:

  • The time needed for workforce capacity building to meet the requirements of the reform and new programs;
  • The need for greater system flexibility to meet the needs of children and young people entering care; and
  • The increasing cost of reporting to multiple levels of government.

ACWA CEO Andrew McCallum and AbSec CEO Tim Ireland thanked Minister Goward for her visit, saying it provided an important opportunity for engagement and discussion.

Main Photo: ACWA CEO Andrew McCallum, Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward, AbSec CEO Tim Ireland, ACWA Chair Bob Mulcahy, ACWA Deputy CEO Wendy Foote.