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National Child Protection Week



Child Protection Week: AASW Statement

On Child Protection Week the AASW renews its call for greater investment in early intervention and workforce regulation.

Australian governments must make a significant investment in early intervention services to ensure children and families receive the support they need from skilled and knowledgeable professionals, said the AASW National President Christine Craik .

“The AASW has consistently argued that governments have a responsibility to create environments that support children, young people and families to substantially reduce the various factors that increase the likelihood of abuse,” said Ms Craik.

"We currently have a situation where state and territory governments across Australia spend only 17 per cent of total child protection funding ($700 million a year) on family support services for children and their families, compared with $3.5 billion on out-of-home care and other crisis interventions.

"The system is punitive and intervenes when it is too late. Furthermore, Indigenous children are 9.8 times more likely to be removed from their family than non-Indigenous children, highlighting the need for early and culturally appropriate supports.

"Improving the distribution of resources and adequately funding appropriate services is an action all governments can immediately take,” said Ms Craik.

The AASW is also calling for greater workforce regulation in the sector.

Ms Craik said, "Child protection is incredibly complex work with some of the most vulnerable children and families in society. That is why greater focus needs to be given to how the workforce is recruited and regulated.

"Coroner and government reports continue to identify failures in the child protection system. This has led to the call for the formal registration of social workers to improve regulation, as we are seeing in South Australia.

"The statutory registration of social workers would be a significant public safety measure and reduce the risks to vulnerable people by assuring education, practice and professional development standards.

“The AASW welcomes the great progress that is being made in South Australia in this regard, including the introduction of legislation to formally register all social workers. This is a long overdue development and we continue to campaign for the professional registration of social workers nationwide.

“Most importantly, we believe that this week is a time to raise awareness to the broader community that we all have a role to play in making sure that every child across Australia has a loving and supportive environment in which to meet their full potential."

Child Protection Week 2019

In 2019 National Child Protection Week focus on introducing a ‘child development’ communication frame to promote the messages that:

Scope of Social Work Practice: Social Work in Child Protection

Significant numbers of social workers practise in child wellbeing and protection settings in a range of roles including direct case work, management and policy. No other professional discipline is so immersed in the areas of knowledge that are essential for quality relationship-based child protection practice. As a result, social workers are recognised throughout the world as the core professional group in child protection policy, management and practice. Social workers offer a unique and valuable contribution in providing appropriate and targeted child-centred services as well as facilitating referral pathways that ensure the linking of services, access and equity.

Learn more about the Scope of Social Work Practice Social Work in Child Protection

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers