Working better with families in contact with the child protection system
Reforms being delivered under this strategic direction are based on the principle that child protection practice is focused on engaging with families earlier, and where appropriate, keeping children safely at home.
The reforms include:
- developing and implementing the new Strengthening Families Protecting Children Framework for Practice — a new strengths-based, safety-oriented child protection practice framework and supporting policies and procedures that focus on engaging with families earlier and delivering better outcomes for vulnerable children (recommendations 7.1, 10.2, 10.6)
- conducting a review the Child Protection Act 1999 to ensure it provides a robust and contemporary legislative framework for the child protection system (recommendations 4.11, 12.17, 13.4, 13.7, 13.15, 13.20, 13.21, 13.23, 14.1-14.6)
- reviewing and redesigning the tertiary system to improve intake, investigation and assessment services for children and families (including differential responses and collaborative family decision making approaches; intervention with parental support and special investigation roles) (recommendations 4.7, 4.9, 7.2, 13.22)
- establishing the Office of the Public Guardian to provide advocacy for children and young people in the child protection system, including advocacy hubs for children and young people and an innovative statewide virtual hub accessible by phone, social media, email and SMS (recommendations 12.7, 12.8)
- implementing the Engaging Fathers initiative to strengthen practice in family engagement across the government and non-government sectors
- appointing dedicated, specialist student protection principal advisors in the regional offices of the Department of Education and Training to better support schools and school communities
- developing a quality assurance model that emphasises continuous quality improvement measures relating to casework practice (recommendation 12.6)
- facilitating a process to provide targeted and accessible information for children, young people and families in the areas of court, rights and complaints (recommendation 13.26).