- McGowan Government commits $33.98 million over four years to improve operations of residential care homes
- An additional investment of $5 million towards five new residential care homes in the Kimberley and Mid-West, to provide better care for vulnerable children
- Residential care workers engaged to develop co-ordinated training program for new staff and improve safety
Some of the most vulnerable children in Western Australia will benefit from additional funding for five new residential care homes in regional WA. Three care homes will be located in the Kimberley and two in Geraldton.
There are currently 22 residential group homes in WA, housing children with no other foster or family care options, many of them with complex needs. The investment will improve safety, boosting the ratio of staff to children in care.
The Department of Communities is working proactively to attract and retain residential care workers and to provide improved comprehensive training before they commence employment.
The ongoing training has been developed with residential care workers to ensure trauma-informed therapeutic care for vulnerable children.
This funding will also provide an opportunity to review the operations of the broader residential care model to better ensure positive outcomes for children in each residential home and for the safety of staff.
This will include house location and design, workforce training, consistency of standards across regional and metropolitan areas, and partnerships with the local community.
Through the 2022-23 State Budget the McGowan Government is investing an additional $114 million into the child protection system, supporting services to protect vulnerable children and their families, and steer at-risk children away from the justice system.
This includes $36.7 million to help deliver and enhance child protection services, with 36 new child protection workers to boost capacity on the frontline.
Comments attributed to Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:
"The McGowan Government is committed to protecting vulnerable children. While taking children into care is always a last resort, in some cases this is the safest option.
"The new regional residential care homes in the Mid-West and Kimberley will reduce over-crowding, helping to provide a safer workplace and better care for vulnerable children.
"Almost $34 million has been allocated for the ongoing management of these homes and the associated learning and development required for workers.
"Staff in residential care homes are at the frontline of delivering services for some of the most vulnerable young Western Australians. It is a challenging job, but a rewarding one and we need to ensure those workers are given all the support we can to continue their important work.
"The McGowan Government is also delivering 36 new child protection workers to the frontline, as part of the $114 million boost to child protection through the State Budget."
Minister's office - 6552 6600