Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward has announced that non-government organisations (NGOs) will play a greater role in providing the Brighter Futures early intervention program to vulnerable families, with an additional $10 million in funding.
“The NSW Government is closely engaging with the NGO sector to help deliver improved services for NSW families. This is the first step in expanding the role of the non-government sector in the delivery of vital child protection services,” Ms Goward said
“The NSW Government recognises NGOs as key partners in delivering services to families where children are at risk of harm. This additional funding and role is just a first step.
“A range of other changes will also reduce red tape for NGOs and make it faster and simpler for families to access support from the program.
“Child Wellbeing Units run by other government agencies will also be able to refer suitable families to NGOs directly, streamlining assistance even more.”
Minister Goward said the government had carefully reviewed and considered the evidence around effective early intervention to improve services for NSW Families and boost the role of NGOs.
“Community services will continue to provide early intervention services to high-risk families already well known to its agency through the Stronger Families program,” Ms Goward said.
“Better support for parents coping with mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence is also a key early intervention strategy and Stronger Families will focus on building stronger partnerships with NSW Health and other service providers to tackle these risk factors.”
Brighter Futures targets families with children under nine or expecting a child and supports offered include quality children’s services, parenting programs, home visiting and case management.
Each participating family works closely with a caseworker to set up a plan to improve the wellbeing of their children. Plans are individually tailored to a family’s needs, with the ultimate aim of keeping children safe in their homes.
The NSW Government is committed to increasing the role community organisations play in the child protection arena.
On Wednesday the Minister met with representatives from the non-government sector on out-of-home care and announced the establishment of a Ministerial Advisory Group to help guide the transfer of our-of-home care services to the sector.