Brighter Future For Struggling Families And Children

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2nd July 2009, 05:17pm - Views: 1100
Brighter Future For Struggling Families and Children

The Association of Children's Welfare Agencies (ACWA) has acknowledged the NSW Government's Brighter Futures as an effective tool in supporting struggling families and children, following the release today of an interim evaluation report into the program.

The research, prepared by the University of NSW's Social Policy Research Centre, in partnership with the Department of Community Services (DoCS), demonstrates the program's success in reducing risk-of-harm reports to the Department's Helpline.

While welcoming the study, ACWA CEO Andrew McCallum believes the program
would be more effective if geared towards early intervention practices rather than its current focus as a pre-statutory service.

He said he would have liked to have seen incorporated within the report a comparison of outcomes between families managed by DoCS and cases handled by non-government service providers.

"The Brighter Futures program is delivered jointly by DoCS and non-government
agencies, and it would have been beneficial to see how both groups measured up against one another," he said.

Mr McCallum said he hopes the success highlighted in today's report is not used as a reason not to transfer the responsibility of Brighter Futures, and other governmentrun child and family services, to the non-government sector, as recommended by Justice James Wood in his Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection in NSW.

He also wants to see the criteria of the program expanded from its current early
childhood focus to include families whose children are aged up to 14 years.
The Association of Children's Welfare Agencies is the New South Wales peak
body representing non-government organisations providing services to
vulnerable children, young people and their families. The organisation has
been operating for 50 years and has more than 100 member agencies.

For interviews please contact:
Andrew McCallum
Mob: 0409 221 414
E: [email protected]

For all other media enquiries please contact:
Libby McCalman
Communications Officer, ACWA
Mob: 0418 659 525
E: [email protected]

SOURCE: Association of Children's Welfare Agencies

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