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Committing to early intervention and monitoring will improve out-of-home-care outcomes for young Australians

Published: 15 November 2016

Committing to better long-term early intervention for vulnerable families and ensuring effective monitoring of out-of-home care providers are the keys to protecting the young Australians in care shown by the ABC’s Four Corners program last night, says the President of the Australian Association of Social Workers, Professor Karen Healy AM.

“Governments need to monitor care providers to ensure funds are directed to these young Australians’ care, educational and support needs,” said Professor Healy.

“Children and young people who come into state care are amongst the most vulnerable members of our society. Most have already been traumatised by abuse and neglect, which is further compounded by multiple foster care placements.”

Professor Healy said this trauma and disruption has ongoing effects throughout the young person’s life and can limit their ability to achieve in school and participate in training and employment.

“Governments have a responsibility to concentrate efforts on creating environments in which families are supported so that the factors that increase the likelihood of child abuse are substantially reduced.” Professor Healy said.

“They can do this by committing to better early intervention which will reduce the removal of children and, where children must be removed, governments must invest in services to make sure every child has the opportunity to live to their full potential in a loving and supportive environment.”

Professor Healy said the commitment must be long-term to ensure primary, secondary and tertiary protective services are adequately funded and resourced.

The AASW represents over 10,000 professional social workers from around Australia, many of whom work in child protection and with vulnerable families.

To arrange an interview with Professor Healy AM, please contact AASW Emma Pegrum, Media and Marketing Manager on 02 6199 5011 or 0408 200 191

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers