Establishing family group conferences as an ongoing program, creating a significant incident reporting unit and funding to trial a new program to extend support to young people post care are among child protection measures in this year’s State Budget.
A total of $647 million has been allocated to child protection in the State Budget 2021-22 next financial year, up from $609 million committed this year.
The State Budget 2021-22 provides an additional $42.1 million over four years to meet the increased costs of children and young people requiring a child protection statutory response to keep them safe from abuse and neglect.
In addition, the Marshall Liberal Government is implementing several new initiatives to support our most vulnerable children, young people and their families.
New funding in this year’s State Budget includes:
- $2.7 million over the next four years for the Stability Post Care program
to provide increased support for young people up to age 21 leaving care
to maintain housing. This builds on the successful Marshall Liberal Government’s foster care to age 21 policy (Stability in Family Based Care program).
- $3.7 million to establish family group conferences as an ongoing program following the success of the two-year pilot, aimed at providing our most vulnerable children, young people, their family and extended family support to stay together, if safe to do so. This includes supporting Aboriginal family and community members to help keep children and
young people safe with family and kin.
- $18.2 million over seven years to establish the Newpin SA family reunification program, an intensive therapeutic reunification program expected to support more than 200 families.
- $1.2 million over two years from 2021-22 to establish a significant incident reporting unit within the Department of Child Protection – a measure implemented by the government in response to the Rice Review.
Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson said the Marshall Liberal Government was working hard every day to better support our most vulnerable children and young people.
“We remain committed to improving outcomes for both children and young people in care and post care and for their families,” said Minister Sanderson.
“Our $2.7 million boost to trial the new Stability Post Care program will enable us to provide increased support for our most vulnerable young people leaving care who are at risk of homelessness and housing instability.
“The decision to fund this initiative comes on the back of the Marshall Liberal Government’s successful Stability in Family Based Care program, which has supported more than 100 young people aged 18 to 21 since it began in January 2019.”
Minister Sanderson said additional funding for family group conferences and reunification would support families to stay together, if safe to do so.
“Ultimately, the aim of both our family group conferencing program and Newpin is to keep children and young people safe in their own families, wherever possible, and connected to their own cultures and communities, because we know this gives them better outcomes in life,” said Minister Sanderson.
“Both programs form part of our ongoing commitment to support family-led decision making and preventing children and young people from entering the child protection system.
“We are committed to our ongoing strategy of growing the number of placements in family-based care and investing in early intervention programs to help our most vulnerable families before there is a need to enter the child protection system.”