Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$5 million boost for services supporting vulnerable families

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Disability Reform

  • Julie Collins MP, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for the Status of Women

Grassroots support services for vulnerable children and their families will benefit from access to a $5 million funding boost from the Australian Government.

Organisations working in the community across Australia will be able to apply for a one-off grant of up to $200,000 to help them better manage the impact of child abuse and neglect and deliver more targeted services for children.

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin and the Minister for Community Services and the Status of Women, Julie Collins, announced the funding following today’s meeting in Sydney of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Standing Council on Community, Housing and Disability Services.

The protection and safeguarding of children is our number one priority and is the responsibility of all governments.

All children deserve a safe, healthy and happy childhood and this one-off investment will help strengthen local partnerships between organisations, services and the community to deliver local solutions.

Importantly, the funding will also improve community understanding of child abuse and neglect.

At today’s meeting, federal, state and territory Ministers praised the success of the First Action Plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children in building firm foundations for future actions to protect families at risk.

On the back of the success of the First Action Plan, Ministers today also agreed the Second Action Plan of the National Frameworkwill now focus on working together, including strengthening partnerships between government and the community sector to improve access to services for vulnerable children and their families.

Under the plan, governments will also develop and implement strategies to reduce risk factors for child abuse and neglect, particularly for Indigenous children.

The one-off funding grants will be available under the Child Aware Approaches initiative, part of the Commonwealth’s commitment to the second three-year action plan under the National Framework. The funding will help build the evidence base through research and evaluation of existing services and to assist existing services to promote, adopt or enhance good practice.

This could include existing women’s safety, mental health, substance abuse and family and children’s support organisations.

By supporting these organisations, we are giving these services opportunities to develop the tools and know-how to better able to respond to the risks and issues affecting the safety and wellbeing of children.

The Gillard Government, together with the state and territory governments, and these organisations, is putting the interests of children first and foremost.

Today’s announcement also builds on work already undertaken under the National Framework on Building Capacity, Building Bridges and the Common Approach to Assessment, Referral and Support.

The Child Aware Approaches initiative is part of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, and is also linked tothe National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 and National Mental Health Reform.

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