THE State Budget is ‘a mixed bag’ for vulnerable children, families and communities, says the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies.
The association’s CEO, Andrew McCallum, said he welcomed the continued investment in child protection reforms but he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ with the level of increase for prevention and early intervention initiatives.
“We would have liked to have seen a greater emphasis placed on early intervention services that enhance the community’s ability to keep children safe without having to remove them from their families,” Mr McCallum said.
“Instead of channelling more money into reducing the number of children coming into care, the bulk of it is being used to further feed the increased demand for out-of-home care and statutory child protection services.”
Mr McCallum said he was pleased with the $1.9 million for Keep Them Safe and an additional $1.8m for foster carer recruitment.
He said homelessness initiatives had also emerged as a feature of the State budget.