Building the national child and family wellbeing plan beyond 2020: your views needed

We need your help over coming months to build an ambitious national child and family wellbeing plan to follow the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children which ends next year.

The National Framework, Australia’s first-ever COAG endorsed plan to improve child safety and wellbeing, has delivered on a number of fronts, but the challenge now is to build an even bolder national plan for children and families.

Progress to date

In March this year Families Australia held the first national plan workshop in Hobart with the support of the Tasmanian Government – you can read the summary here.

In May, the Child Aware Conference in Brisbane launched a policy building process, on behalf of the 220 organisations 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.

Many delegates highlighted the vital importance of addressing the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities. Many others stressed the importance of hearing and responding to the voices of children, young people and families.

Earlier this month, 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.

The next workshop is planned for Adelaide on 28 August. Other workshops are currently being planned in conjunction with governments and will soon be announced as we travel around the capital cities and some regional/rural locations.

In the tripartite spirit, all workshops are designed to engage representatives from Commonwealth Government, State/Territory Governments, and NGOs/academia.

We’ll be asking 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

All members of the National Coalition and Families Australia will be invited to a workshop in their location.

If you would like to be added to the workshop invitation list, please email


Dr Brian Babington
August 2019