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

    State’s peak child protection practitioner appointed

    12/09/2022 10:00 AM
    • Amber Fabry confirmed as Chief Practitioner within the Department of Communities' Specialist Child Protection Unit
    • The role is the most senior child protection position within Western Australia
    • Chief Practitioner oversees the function of the Specialist Child Protection Unit to support improved outcomes for vulnerable children and families

    One of Western Australia's foremost child protection experts, Amber Fabry, has been appointed to the newly created role of Chief Practitioner within the Department of Communities' Specialist Child Protection Unit (SCPU).


    In a career spanning 25 years, Ms Fabry has been an advocate for the promotion of the primary role of parents, families, and communities in protecting their children. Over the past decade, Ms Fabry has held senior leadership roles across the Kimberley, Goldfields, South-West, and now in metropolitan Perth.


    In addition to many years served on the frontline, Ms Fabry also holds a Masters of Leadership from Deakin University, and is currently studying the Juris Doctor at the University of Western Australia.


    The Chief Practitioner role has been established as the most senior child protection position within WA, and the role oversees the functions of the SCPU.


    The SCPU works with stakeholders in the community services sector, other State and Federal Government agencies, and frontline workers across WA, to refine child protection practice, strategic policy, and frontline support for staff and carers. A key element of the role will be to advance the voice and advocacy for children in care, and those who look after them.


    Ms Fabry's appointment marks another key milestone in the McGowan Government's commitment to enhance the child protection system.


    In the 2022-23 Budget, the McGowan Government has committed $114 million of new funding into the child protection system and supporting services, to protect vulnerable children and their families, and steer at‑risk children away from the justice system.


    The record investment in early intervention initiatives is supporting historic reductions in the number of children in care in WA.


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


    The State Government has increased spending in child protection by close to 25 per cent since 2017. This has included adding over 200 additional full-time case workers.


    For more information about the Specialist Child Protection Unit, visit the Communities website.


    Comments attributed to Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:


    "I congratulate Amber Fabry on her appointment to the Chief Practitioner role.


    "Since its establishment in late 2020, the Specialist Child Protection Unit has been achieving significant results, and leading a range of critical projects which are helping to improve outcomes for children, families and foster carers alike. 


    "Ms Fabry's experience and qualifications mark her as an outstanding candidate. Her understanding of frontline practices, coupled with strategic knowledge and experience in delivering reform work will be crucial to the ongoing success of the Specialist Child Protection Unit."


    Comments attributed to Department of Communities Director General Mike Rowe:


    "Amber is an outstanding person and professional. She has given so much to child protection practice over the years. In her new role of Chief Practitioner, she will have further scope and influence to drive meaningful and long-term change for vulnerable young people, and those who work so hard to support them.


    "The Department of Communities is supporting great work in the child protection space. We have a very clear picture about where we want to head as an agency, and Amber's passion and capability will play a significant role in supporting those aims."


    Minister's office - 6552 6600