Beyond 2020

The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 (National Framework), Australia’s first ever COAG endorsed plan to improve the safety and wellbeing of children, comes to an end in 2020.

Families Australia has been commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services (DSS) to lead national consultations on a successor plan on behalf of the National Coalition for Child Safety and Wellbeing (National Coalition). Families Australia is working closely with SNAICC – National Voice for our Children and the Family Matters Campaign, DSS and State and Territory governments on the successor plan to the National Framework. National consultations are expected to be completed in early March 2020. Families Australia will then provide a final report to DSS.

National consultations

Families Australia, on behalf of the National Coalition, is convening workshops and leadership consultations on the future of national child and family wellbeing policy around Australia. Brief reports from the consultations which have been held so far are available below.

Perth workshop and leadership consultation 7 November 2019
Sydney workshop and leadership consultation 1 November 2019
Northern Rivers consultation 15 October 2019
Family Inclusion Network (FIN) and ACT for Kids Townsville consultation 11 October 2019
Townsville workshop and leadership consultation 10 October 2019
Brisbane workshop and leadership consultation 9 October 2019
Adelaide workshop and leadership consultation 28 August 2019
Hobart workshop 25 March 2019

A progress report from the national consultations has been produced and summarises the key findings to date and is available here.

Reports from consultations held in Perth will be available shortly.  Consultations will be held in Darwin and Canberra before the end of 2019 and in Melbourne in early 2020.

Related consultations

In May 2019, the Child Aware Conference in Brisbane launched a policy building process, on behalf of the more than 220 organisations and academics of the National Coalition for Child Safety and Wellbeing. The conference brought to the surface an exciting range of perspectives about what a future plan might look like. Many delegates talked about the need for a visionary, well-resourced plan to contain targets and stronger results-based accountability to drive stronger prevention and early intervention approaches for children and families, especially those experiencing disadvantage. Delegates highlighted the vital importance of addressing the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities and stressed the importance of hearing and responding to the voices of children, young people and families.

In August 2019, a major policy design workshop was held under the auspices of the National Forum for Protecting Australia’s Children. Commonwealth, State and Territory senior officials and National Coalition representatives discussed key elements of a national plan. Themes included the need to intensify prevention and early intervention approaches and targeted supports for families experiencing disadvantage. Some spoke about the need to emphasise wellbeing as well as safety aspects, and the importance of better integrated, cross-sectoral responses that bring together a wider range of sectors and players, such as those from health, education and housing, and improving the connections between various allied national plans and frameworks.

Next step: seeking your views

We are working closely with SNAICC – National Voice for our Children and the Family Matters Campaign, the Commonwealth Department of Social Services and respective State and Territory governments on the successor plan to the National Framework.

In the tripartite spirit of the National Framework, all workshops are designed to engage representatives from Commonwealth Government, State/Territory Governments, and NGOs/academia including our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members and stakeholders.

We are posing questions such as:

  • What should be the key elements of a national policy approach for child and family wellbeing and safety after 2020 when the National Framework comes to an end?
  • Which of these key elements are likely to produce the best outcomes for children and families?
  • How will we know if the approach is successful? What are the key short, medium and long-term indicators of success?
  • How would we balance child and family wellbeing with the need to protect children?
  • How could a new national approach beyond 2020 harmonise with and build on existing Commonwealth and jurisdictional policies, strategies and frameworks? A list of current national policies and strategies is here.
  • What can we draw from this list to inform the beyond 2020 approach?

How you can be involved

If you would like to be added to the workshop invitation list for Melbourne, please email admin@familiesaustralia.org.au