The State Government is set to reshape its out-of-home care system to deliver a brighter future for Western Australia's most vulnerable children and young people.
Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell said the Department for Child Protection and Family Support's new out-of-home care reform plan aimed to better meet the complex needs of children in care as well as prevent more children coming into care.
"The Building a Better Future: Out-of-Home Care Reform Plan outlines how the system will evolve over the next five years to give children in care the safe and nurturing home they deserve," Ms Mitchell said.
"Research shows that providing children with a permanent stable home gives them the best opportunity to heal from trauma and rebuild their lives.
"Reuniting children safely with their parents will always be our first priority, however when this is not possible, we will provide them with a stable home and certain future."
Under the reforms, there will be better identification of each individual child's needs and funding arrangements can be tailored to meet those specific needs.
"Carers do an amazing job at sticking by the children they look after, often through the most challenging years of their life," the Minister said.
"We want these people, rather than bureaucracies, to raise children and the plan includes measures to support them and attract more foster carers who want to permanently care for children.
"Measures include streamlining the carer and adoption assessments, improving how we match children to carers, and providing better support and training for carers."
The reforms include new safety standards and increased external oversight of the care system through Ombudsman Western Australia.
Building a Better Future: Out-of-Home Care Reform was developed following a two-year consultation period and is available at http://www.cpfs.wa.gov.au
Currently, there are more than 4,500 children in out-of-home care
In January 2016, there were more than 650 children who had been in temporary care for longer than two years without a permanent court order
52% of children in care are Aboriginal. About 70% of Aboriginal children in care are placed with relatives or other Aboriginal families
For information about fostering, phone 1800 024 453 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister's office - 6552 5400