Hon Andrea Mitchell BPE DipEd MLA

Hon Andrea Mitchell BPE DipEd MLA

Former Minister for Mental Health; Child Protection

    WA’s plan to build safe and strong families

    28/09/2016 9:00 AM
    • Earlier Intervention and Family Support Strategy outlines the way forward
    • Strengthening services to better meet needs of vulnerable children and families 

    The Liberal National Government today advanced its commitment to safely reducing the number of children entering out-of-home care, with the release of a strategy to refocus its services to the State's most vulnerable families.


    Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell said the new Building Safe and Strong Families: Earlier Intervention and Family Support Strategy would guide the reorientation of services with the aim of supporting at-risk families and preventing their children entering State care.


    "The last 10 years has seen a significant change in out-of-home care, with the overall number of children in care doubling and a significant over-representation of Aboriginal children in State care," Ms Mitchell said.


    "The State Government has had considerable success in reducing the number of non-Aboriginal children entering State care, with Western Australia having the lowest rate in Australia. 


    "However, we must do better at safely reducing the number of Aboriginal children requiring State care.


    "The strategy identifies the need to work with community service providers, Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and the Aboriginal community to design new services that meet the specific needs of Aboriginal families."


    The Minister said the strategy acknowledged that supporting vulnerable families could not be achieved by one agency alone.


    "This strategy targets better information sharing between government and community service organisations to identify and support families whose children are most at risk of entering State care," she said.


    "Our aim is to have all government services and agencies working together to increase education attendance, reduce contact with the police and corrective services and prevent children entering care."


    Fact File

    • The strategy, available at http://www.cpfs.wa.gov.au, complements the Building a Better Future: Out-of-Home Care Reform in Western Australia, and is an essential element of the comprehensive child protection reforms occurring in WA
    • As at June 30, 2016, there were 4,658 children living in out-of-home care
    • 53% of children in care are Aboriginal, yet they make up only 7% of WA's child population
    • 43% of all children in out-of-home care live with family members 

    Minister's office - 6552 5400


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