Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services

    Funding boost for Aboriginal-led child protection pilot to improve family safety

    4/09/2022 9:00 AM
    • State Government commits an additional $1.2 million to extend its Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making pilot to mark National Child Protection Week
    • Program works with families involved in pre-birth planning, intensive family support and reunification
    • Pilot will continue in Mirrabooka and Midwest-Gascoyne through to 30 June 2024
    • McGowan Government's record investment in early intervention, supporting historic reductions in number of children in care

    The State Government has marked the launch of National Child Protection Week by committing an additional $1.2 million in funding to extend the Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making (AFLDM) program currently being piloted in Mirrabooka and the Midwest-Gascoyne.


    Under the extension, Wungening Aboriginal Corporation (Wungening) and Geraldton Streetwork Aboriginal Corporation (Streeties) will receive extra funding through to 30 June 2024, to deliver the pilot programs in Mirrabooka and Midwest-Gascoyne.


    The AFLDM pilot aims to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal youth in the child protection system by enlisting independent Aboriginal convenors to facilitate a culturally appropriate process to support Aboriginal families in making decisions regarding keeping their children safe, and connected with their community.


    The Wungening-led AFLDM delivery in Mirrabooka is currently working with nine families, while the Streeties-led service in the Midwest-Gascoyne is supporting 12. Both pilots are engaged with families involved in either pre-birth planning or intensive family support, along with families working towards their children returning safely home.


    The AFLDM program first launched on 1 October 2021, as a 12-month pilot with an initial investment of $715,000. Early evaluation has found that families participating in AFLDM have reported a sense that their voices are heard, and are better able to collaborate with the Department of Communities to keep their children safe.


    National Child Protection Week is coordinated by the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, and champions the need for all Australian children to be protected, supported, and nurtured.


    The McGowan Government is delivering record investments in early intervention child protection initiatives, which are supporting historic reductions in the number of children in care in Western Australia.


    During the 12 months prior to 30 June 2022, the number of children in care State-wide dropped by 4.7 per cent. Over the same period, there was a significant 3.3 per cent drop in the number of Aboriginal children in care.


    Over the past 24 months, the State Government has achieved reductions in the number of children in care. They are the first end of year reductions since 1997.


    For further information about AFLDM, visit https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-communities


    Comments attributed to Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:


    "The Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making program is supporting families to have a greater say in the decisions impacting their children, and helping to keep families together.


    "The McGowan Government has invested close to $2 million in this program. The feedback we've heard in the first year indicates families are seeing real benefits, and feel that their voices are being heard.


    "Having independent Aboriginal convenors to support families at risk of child protection intervention - or those working towards their children returning safely home - is helping build greater trust and connection between families and child protection staff.


    "I'm proud of the work we have done to achieve historic reductions in the number of Aboriginal children in care, but there is still more to do. Building the capacity of Aboriginal corporations to design and support child protection work is a key part of our strategy to keep children with their families where they belong."


    Minister's office - 6552 6600