The first GenerationalChange Reform Annual Report, including reporting on the implementation oftwo Royal Commissions, has been released. This is a progress report on theTerritory Governments action plan to improve the livesof children and families, and create safer communities.
The impacts of the Reform indicate the start of a majorturn-around in the lives of vulnerable children. These impacts include:
- A reduction in notifications aboutchild neglect and abuse
- Fewer children are subject to substantiationfor child abuse and neglect
- More Aboriginal children in care areliving with Aboriginal carers
- Fewer children admitted toout-of-home care
In the past 18 months,significant progress has been made. Key achievements include:
- Of the 218 recommendations that relate to action by the NorthernTerritory Government stemming from the Royal Commission into theProtection and Detention of Children in the NT, 90 recommendationsare now complete, 125 underway and three not yet started.
- Establishing Families as First Teachers, Stay Play Learnprograms in Braitling, Malak, Belyuen, Epenarra, Kintore, Harts Range, RobinsonRiver and Peppimenarti. This program promotes early literacy and numeracylearning for children from birth to four years and supports families to betheir childrens first teacher.
- Partnering with Aboriginal communities and organisations to progress five newChild and Family Centres in Tennant Creek, Katherine, Wadeye, East Arnhem andDarwins Northern Suburbs.
- Improving services thatTerritory Families provides to families, including a new Family Support Hotline, a newSigns of Safety practice framework, and implementing one child, one casewhich streamlines investigations and allows more time to be spent supportingthe child and family.
- Implementing the Housing for Young People program, the first of its kindin the Northern Territory to support young people as they leave care to findand maintain suitable housing.
- Establishing the NT Maternal Early Childhood SustainedHome-visiting programs in the East Arnhem, Katherine and Barkly regions.
- Investing in youth services, such as after-hours and school holiday activities, bail accommodation andsupport, and diversion programs.
The Generational Change Reform Annual Reportincludes the Northern Territorys response to the Royal Commission into theProtection and Detention of Children in the NT, the Royal Commission intoInstitutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the NTs Early Childhood DevelopmentPlan 2018-2028.
The Annual Report is available at: https://rmo.nt.gov.au/
As stated by Minister for Territory Families, Dale Wakefield
Wemade anelection promise to improve the lives of children and get young people back onthe right path, and that is what we are doing. The reforms that we areimplementing are making profound changes that will positively impact on thisand future generations.
The Territory Labor Governments leadershipstands in stark contrast to the former CLP government. We have restored vital youth services thatthe CLP cut, have overhauled the child protection system we inherited and aremaking significant reforms to the dysfunctional youth justice system that theCLP left behind.
There is more work to do to achieve lastingimprovements. The CLP cant be trusted to continue these reforms if they getback into government.”
As stated by CEO of Central Australian Aboriginal Congress,and Children and Families Tripartite Forum Independent Chair, Donna Ah Chee
This report highlights the significantimprovements that have been delivered in the last 18 months for children, youngpeople and families in the Northern Territory.
These improvements have only been made possiblethrough strengthening partnerships with communities, Aboriginal CommunityControlled organisations and the non-government sector.
Combined with the Alcohol reforms, focus on thefirst 1000 days and local decision making there are clear signs that the evidence-informed,generational approach is delivering outcomes for children today. This is a longjourney and the challenge from here is to continue this journey together, buildon what has been achieved so far, and ensure that the improvements aresustained over the long-term.
As stated by CEO of North Australian Aboriginal JusticeAgency (NAAJA), Priscilla Atkins
There are no quick fixes or shortcuts tocreating a restorative and effective youth justice and child protection system.We are over 18 months into the five year reform journey and although there isstill a long way to go, we are now starting to see the efforts to datetranslate into better outcomes for Territory families and communities.
Whilst there is still much work to be done, thereforms delivered so far are a significant step in the right direction and weneed to stay the course.