26 September 2023

New plan to build childrens’ futures

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The ACT has come together with Federal, State and the other Territory Governments to build stronger futures for Australia’s children by releasing the first action plans under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children.

Launching the First Action Plan 2023-2026 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan 2023-2026, the Australian Department of Social Services (DSS) said the Plans would address the needs of all Australian children.

“It focuses on children and families who are experiencing disadvantage and/or are vulnerable,” DSS said.

“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan will focus on achieving safety and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children,” it said.

“It sets out actions and activities to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in child protection systems.”

DSS said both Action Plans aimed to protect children and young people from harm and neglect.

“The voices of children, young people and families will be central to implementing the first Action Plans,” it said.

Welcoming the Plans, the federal Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth said they were the result of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Community Services Ministers, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Group, and the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing working together.

The Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney said the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan reflected Government’s joint commitment and actions to reduce the number of First Nations children in out-of-home-care, in line with the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan developed with First Nations young people, families and organisations is centred on empowering and supporting self-determination of First Nations families,” Ms Burney said.

“The Plan focuses on early intervention and prevention measures at a child, family and system level which is crucial to keeping more First Nations families together and safe.”

She said key actions under the two Plans included a national approach for a sustainable and skilled children and families workforce; improved early and targeted supports for children and families; and supporting First Nations people and communities to exercise authority in family support services and child protection.

The Social Services Department’s 73-page First Action Plan can be accessed at this PS News link and its 81-page Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan at this link.

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