The Department for Child Protection has released a 3-year plan describing its directions and priority actions for reforming the care system for children and young people.
Children who enter care are now, more than ever before, presenting with more complex and challenging needs. To address this, we are on a journey to modernise South Australia’s care system.
'Every effort for every child' sets out the changes we will make to better meet the unique and individual needs of children and young people in our care, with actions under 5 priority areas:
- delivering a needs-based system that heals and understands trauma, with services that can respond to the diverse needs of children and young people
- growing family-based care by finding more family to provide kinship care placements, recruiting foster care families and proactively retaining our current carers
- transforming non-family based care to be consistently therapeutic, culturally appropriate and responsive
- improving transition from care to give our young people the same opportunities as others
- enhancing quality and safeguarding across the system.
It follows extensive consultation with service providers, carers, staff and other government agencies.
The strategy recognises the challenges facing the care system and the important progress that has already been made. Key actions include:
- trialling family group conferences
- introducing individualised placement and support packages for children entering care
- establishing a carer charter
- expanding permanency options for children and young people, including adoption
- introducing carer clinics to connect carers with therapeutic specialists
- recommissioning Supported Independent Living Services
- embedding complex case review meetings into our practice.
‘Every effort for every child’ is one part of the government’s broader plan for protecting South Australia’s children and young people - ‘Safe and well: supporting families, protecting children’.