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.
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Brian Babington