The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) has unveiled an integrated implementation model to overhauling the NSW child protection system during the launch today of a statewide campaign, Child Protection: It’s Time For Action.
The campaign, which follows the release last month of Justice James Wood’s report into child protection, aims to ensure the NSW Government implements in full the retired judge’s proposed blueprint for a new child protection system.
ACWA CEO Andrew McCallum says the campaign represents the voice of the NSW Community Services sector, which is united in its desire to see positive action for vulnerable children and families.
“The system needs major repairs and we have a once in a generation opportunity to get it right,” Mr McCallum said.
“To do nothing, or to do more of the same, will see history judge us harshly. And so it should. The lives and wellbeing of NSW’s children and families are at stake. We need to act now.”
ACWA’s integrated implementation reform plan incorporates in order of priority most of the 111 recommendations contained within Justice Wood’s Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection.
Central to the model is the need for Government and non-government organisations to work in unison to deliver a full spectrum of services to children and families in need of support.
The plan includes the establishment of a new non-government regional referral service, a specialist Government-operated Child Protection Unit and the introduction of an integrated services model covering a raft of service needs including early intervention, out-of-home care, intensive support case management, family services and adoption.
“Our implementation model encapsulates the very essence of the Wood Report, which says the best way to protect children and support vulnerable families is through the collective responsibility of government and community,” Mr McCallum said.
“We hope the NSW Government will give it serious consideration as a powerful tool through which it can provide leadership to build for this state a child protection system that is fit for our children.”
For more information visit www.acwa.asn.au