Child protection caseworkers will receive more frequent and easily accessible mental health services as part of the NSW Government’s $130 million mental health recovery package.
Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women Bronnie Taylor said child protection caseworkers have been working around the clock to keep kids safe during the pandemic, often under challenging circumstances.
“Child protection caseworkers are exposed to some of the most difficult and tragic situations imaginable and this funding will enable them to access specialist support when they need it,” Mrs Taylor said.
“We recognise that as we navigate the State’s economic recovery from the pandemic, we must also prioritise mental wellbeing, and child protection caseworkers are a cohort that our Government is committed to supporting.”
The NSW Government expanded its Employee Assistance Program to all funded NGOs working in the social services sector throughout the recent lockdown.
The $3 million expansion of caseworker wellbeing checks will build on that support, providing thousands of child protection staff across the State with more frequent and easily accessible services.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Alister Henskens said the expansion of caseworker wellbeing checks is in line with objectives of the recently established Child Wellbeing Taskforce.
“We’re working hard to prevent vulnerable children slipping through the cracks, and our frontline child protection caseworkers are critical to that,” Mr Henskens said.
“Our Child Wellbeing Taskforce is looking at ways we can improve services and support for vulnerable kids, but also exploring ways to better equip the frontline with the support they need to deliver quality and important services.”
Work is underway to roll out the expanded services by next month.