- McGowan Government commits $3.5 million over two years to establish program for vulnerable children
- The Health Navigator Pilot Program will help children in care access health and mental health services
- It will be trialled in Mirrabooka and South-West
Children and young people in out-of-home care will benefit from a new McGowan Government initiative focused on providing better access to medical care and developmental support.
Children in care are some of the most vulnerable in society, and may experience physical and mental health issues, increased contact with the justice system and poorer employment outcomes.
The $3.5 million Health Navigator Pilot Program is designed to help vulnerable children and young people get timely access to health care, mental health services and disability support.
The two-year pilot will be trialled at two sites: Mirrabooka and South-West.
Two health navigator staff will be employed at each site, one of whom will be an Aboriginal Health Professional.
The pilot program is being jointly delivered by the Department of Health and the Department of Communities, with input from stakeholders including the Aboriginal Health Council of WA, CREATE Foundation, Foster Care Association WA, Yorganop and young people with lived experience.
Comments attributed to Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:
"We know that young people in the child protection system often experience significant challenges. Being healthy and resilient gives them the best chance of succeeding in other areas of their lives, such as getting a good education and employment.
"We know that early diagnosis and intervention in the early years is so crucial and that is why this initiative is so important to ensure children in care have the right supports when they need them.
"The Health Navigator Pilot Program is a great example of how collaboration and commitment across government will better meet the needs of children in care - and we hope, give them a brighter future."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring all Western Australians have access to the right medical care and developmental support, and it is important we don't let young people in out-of-home care fall through the gaps.
"The needs of these children are complex and challenging. This is an exceptional initiative that makes a real difference to vulnerable children."
Minister's office - 6552 6600