National child protection reforms make impact on frontline
The Second Annual Report on the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 shows how COAG level reforms can make a real difference on the ground, the Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins MP, said today.
Ms Collins today released the 2010-11 report, which tracks the progress and achievements made during the second year of implementation of the National Framework.
The report shows interstate co-operation is on the increase through vital information sharing between the various child protection systems and Centrelink, Medicare and the Child Support Agency.
“This is all about child protection case workers having access to information about vulnerable kids and families to help them do their work,” Ms Collins said.
“There were almost 10,000 requests for information from child protection agencies to Centrelink, Medicare and the Child Support Agencies between October 2010 and October 2011.
“Since the protocol began in 2009, there have been over 24,000 requests for information.
“This information assists in investigations of suspected cases of abuse and neglect and ensures better care for children.
“This is a COAG level reform having a real impact on the ground and the Government is working with the states and territories about ways to expand it to other Commonwealth agencies.
The Second Annual Report brings also highlights achievements under the National Framework in 2010-11 including:
- The roll out of the first ever National Standards for out-of-home care in July 2011. Planning for a national biennial survey of children and young people in out-of-home care.
- The first nationally consistent approach to planning for young people leaving out-of-home care.
- The National Research Agenda for Protecting Australia’s Children 2011-14, which includes $600,000 over three years for research focussing on vulnerable children to inform future policy and service delivery to Australia’s children and their families.
- The development of a carer’s online resource to improve their access to information about the range of support and services available to them.
“Reducing child abuse and neglect is not an easy task and it will take time – the National Framework provides the foundation for long term change,” Ms Collins said.
“Commonwealth, state and territory governments will also continue to work with the non-government sector, through the Coalition of Organisations Committed to the Safety and Wellbeing of Australia’s Children to implement the National Framework.”
The Second Annual Report has been endorsed by Commonwealth, state and territory ministers through the Standing Council on Community, Housing and Disability Services.
The Second Annual Report and further information is available at www.fahcsia.gov.au.