A safe, secure and therapeutic facility has been opened today by Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney that will see provision of quality services for Western Australia’s most vulnerable and in need young people aged between 12-18 years.
The recipients are considered at high-risk of self-harm or a risk to those around them and require immediate stabilisation, assessment and support.
The nine-bed secure care centre is located at Stoneville and will reflect best practice therapeutic services and provide young people, already in State care, with complex problems and behaviours, the best opportunity to stabilise and begin to address their needs.
“In the past, the child protection system has not been kind to some children. This is a real opportunity and the best setting for a young person to have their situation assessed if they are at immediate risk of self-harm or harm to others, as secure care provides an appropriate environment for around-the-clock care and support,” Mrs McSweeney said.
“The centre will be staffed by psychologists, teachers, mental health nurses, and senior child protection and education officers to help stabilise a young person who is in need of intensive therapeutic treatment.
“Their length of stay can be for up to three weeks and only in exceptional circumstances, that period may be extended for a further 21 days.”
The facility is due to have its first intake of young people in early June and the care model is based on a similar service currently operating in Victoria - the Kath French Secure Care Centre - one of only two closed facilities of its kind in Australia.
“The introduction of this new secure care model can be accessed in respect of a child already in the care of the Department for Child Protection or via an application by the department through the Children’s Court in exceptional circumstances,” the Minister said.
“One of the most important things a young person will leave with after their stay is an exit plan which outlines the ongoing support they will receive and while in the facility, contact with family or significant others will be encouraged where possible.”
The provision for the secure care facility was passed in State Parliament late last year under the Child and Community Services 2004 Amendment Bill 2010 and is funded to operate at a cost of $3.6million annually.
Minister’s office - 9222 8950