Making sure children in Australia are safe and supported

Joint with:

The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP

Minister for Social Services

Member for Kingston

The Hon Linda Burney MP

Minister for Indigenous Australians

Member for Barton

The Albanese Government will today progress its commitment to Australia’s children by launching the first Action Plans under Safe and Supported: The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children (2021-2031).

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney will launch the Action Plans, outlining the actions and activities needed to improve outcomes for children and young people in Australia.

The Action Plans are the result of the Commonwealth, state and territory Community Services Ministers, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Group and the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing working together.

They also are an example of putting the voices of children at the centre of policy making and have been developed following extensive consultations with children, young people and families, First Nations leaders and communities and the non-government sector.

“Our vision is that children and young people in Australia reach their full potential by growing up in safe and supportive homes, free from harm and neglect. All children and young people across Australia have the right to grow up safe, connected, and supported in their family, community, and culture,” Minister Rishworth said.

“We recognise that governments, relevant sectors, and communities must work together to create real and systemic change for children and families in Australia, and that’s why we have developed the First Action Plan 2023-2026 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan 2023-2026 under Safe and Supported.”

Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan reflected the Government’s joint commitment and actions to reduce the number of First Nations children in out-of-home-care, in line with the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

“I applaud the efforts of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Group, SNAICC – National Voice for our Children and governments across Australia in developing this Framework, and committing to the actions needed to ensure every child in Australia is safe and supported to thrive.

“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan developed with First Nations young people, families and organisations is centred on empowering and supporting self-determination of First Nations families.

“The Plan focuses on early intervention and prevention measures at a child, family and system level which is crucial to keeping more First Nations families together and safe,” said Minister Burney.

Key actions under these two Action Plans include:

  • agreeing a national approach for a sustainable and skilled children and families workforce
  • improved early and targeted supports for children and families
  • supporting First Nations people and communities to exercise authority in family support services and child protection
  • investing in the First Nations Community Controlled Sector, and
  • fully implementing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle to the standard of active efforts.

“Safe and Supported is an ambitious, 10-year strategy to make significant and sustained progress in reducing the rates of child abuse and neglect and its intergenerational impacts,” Minister Rishworth said.

“It will coordinate and align with other relevant national initiatives, such as the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021-2030 and the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032.”

The Australian Government has committed a $30 million package in the 2022-23 Budget for five initiatives to support Safe and Supported.

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