Hon Andrea Mitchell BPE DipEd MLA

Hon Andrea Mitchell BPE DipEd MLA

Former Minister for Mental Health; Child Protection

    $20m to reduce Aboriginal children in State care

    15/12/2016 9:00 AM
     
    • Funding to implement Building Safe and Strong Families: Earlier Intervention and Family Support Strategy key element
    • New service to reduce the number of Aboriginal children in care

    The Liberal National Government will spend $20 million over four years to fund a new pilot program to reduce the number of Aboriginal children in State care.

     

    Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell said Aboriginal In-Home Practical Support Services would be trialled in the metropolitan area from January 2018.

     

    "This Government made a commitment with its Building Safe and Strong Families: Earlier Intervention and Family Support Strategy to address the over-representation of Aboriginal children in the child protection system," Ms Mitchell said.

     

    "That strategy recognises that earlier and more intensive engagement is the best way to support families and prevent their children coming into care.

     

    "Aboriginal In-Home Practical Support Services will be established in four locations to provide culturally safe, in-home support and out-reach parenting services for Aboriginal families.

     

    "Vulnerable families sometimes find it difficult to navigate the service system or are reluctant to engage; these services will persevere with those families to provide earlier and more intensive support to reduce the chance of their children being placed in care."

     

    The pilot services will be linked to Family Support Networks, which will be expanded to provide coverage across the metropolitan area.

     

    "Family Support Networks, which connect vulnerable families to the services they need, will also be enhanced and strengthened to include better access to government services as well as those offered by the community services sector," the Minister said.

     

    Work will commence in early 2017 to jointly develop these new services in partnership with the community service sector, as well as Aboriginal service providers and communities.

     

    Fact File

    • As at October 31, 2016, there were 4,700 children living in out-of-home care
    • 53% of children in State care are Aboriginal, yet they make up only 7% of WA's child population

    Minister's office - 6552 5400

     

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