Minister for Human Services
Over $20 million to Build Strong Families and Safe Kids
26 May, 2016
The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to better protecting vulnerable Tasmanian children, young people and their families.
Last year the Government made a major announcement that we would redesign Tasmania’s broken child protection system. With the Budget back on track we are able to invest $20.6 million in the 2016-17 Budget to deliver a holistic across government redesigned child protection system that can respond innovatively and effectively to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and their families.
The delivery of this redesign will fundamentally change the way in which government agencies and non-government agencies work collaboratively together to deliver better services to improve the wellbeing of all Tasmanian children.
This funding is the first of many steps to rebuild the broken child protection system, which was failing the State’s most vulnerable children, young people and their families.
A total of $20.6 million will be invested over 2016-2020, including:
- $3.6 million to refocus the current child protection intake service into an Advice and Referral Service that will create a “one door” statewide service. The “one door” service will have a broadened focus to provide advice on other services and responses that will support the wellbeing of the child. This Service will contribute significantly towards refocusing the system away from statutory interventions of last resort, to a system that is more focused on providing early access and integrated support to vulnerable children and their families.
- $7.5 million as part of our whole of government commitment to provide services to children at risk, including $5 million in the Department of Education to provide services and support for children in government schools and support for children in government schools and child and family centres. Additional intensive family support services will also be available for the families of children on the brink of entering the statutory care system.
- $8.6 million to build a contemporary, innovative child protection system through the establishment of child safety teams, focused on one of three areas: court tasks; short term (reunification) case management; or long term (permanency) case management. This will allow staff to focus on their area of expertise, provide timely access to resources and tools and ultimately allow them to make more timely decisions as they undertake their difficult work in supporting families and keeping children safe.
- $550,000 to improve information technology to support frontline child safety staff. This will include further expansion of the current KIDZ data warehouse to support professional decision making and improvements to the current Child Protection Information System (CPIS).
The $20.6 million will support the implementation of these initiatives under the Strong Families, Safe Kids Implementation Plan, which will be released shortly. The Implementation Plan, will outline the actions under five strategies the Government will take to build an integrated child safety and wellbeing system that can respond innovatively and effectively to build strong families and keep kids safe.
The Government recognises that in order to protect children and young people we cannot continue to deliver the same services in the same way. Through the Strong Families, Safe Kids Implementation Plan we will work together across government and the community, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and the resilience of families in Tasmania.