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Community and key partner engagement

Key deliverables
  • We will talk to children and young people and seek their views
  • We will work with Aboriginal representatives through forums, visits and workshops to together reduce the number of Aboriginal children in the system
  • Carers will receive direct communication from the department
  • Focus groups including those specifically for carers and Aboriginal representatives will inform planning
  • Staff will be engaged in designing, planning and implementing the new system
  • A key partners group has been established and forums will be held quarterly
  • Non-government organisations (NGOs) and other government agencies will collaborate with DCP to deliver reforms. 

Ongoing engagement and partnership with key partners, child protection staff and the wider community is fundamental to achieving successful child protection reform. 

Our goals

Our new approach will create opportunities for more people with an interest in child protection to voice their concerns or opinions. 

A comprehensive, inclusive, collaborative and coordinated approach to listening to and adopting feedback from all partners in the child protection system including: 

  • children and young people
  • Aboriginal families and communities
  • carers
  • key partners
  • Department for Child Protection staff.

Key actions and initiatives from consultation

Consultation with the community and wider child protection sector influenced the following reform initiatives: 

What you told us What we are doing now
Early intervention services need to be expanded and coordinated differently in regional areas A fourth Child and Family Assessment and Referral Network pilot will be initiated in Mount Gambier to inform the design of regional networks.
Consultation with Aboriginal communities is key to the success of child protection reform A strategy to engage with Aboriginal children, families and communities is being developed in partnership with the Aboriginal Community Leadership Reference Group.
Staff triaging phone calls in the call centre must be experienced and highly capable

The Intake Team in the call centre will be staffed with some of our most experienced and capable child protection practitioners.

Family scoping to identify family and kinship carers needs to occur much earlier The new Family Scoping Unit will be located within the Child Safety Pathway at the 'front end' of the system
Relationships between carers and the department need to be improved and carers better supported Four carer relationship officer positions have been developed based on feedback and input from carers to provide better support to carers.
Out of Home Care services for children must be better coordinated across types of care A statewide Out of Home Care strategy is being developed that will ensure both family-based care and residential care delivers positive outcomes for children.
Information sharing needs to be expanded and improved across government, non-government agencies, carers and staff The new Public Sector (Data Sharing) Act 2016 allows for far greater sharing of information between key partners in the child protection system.
More support should be provided to young people on leaving care and after they turn 18 Work has commenced on a suite of initiatives to provide better coordination of and access to post-state-care services to help young people succeed as adults. 
Seek the specific views of children and young people currently in care and adults who have been in care to understand their experience and insights A strategy for engaging with children and young people will be developed with input from the Commissioner for Children and Young People, the Guardian for Children and Young People and the CREATE Foundation.

How we will know we are making a difference

We will know engagement is making a difference when the design of a new child protection system is directly shaped by the knowledge and expertise of:

  • child protection experts
  • foster and kinship carers
  • the Aboriginal community
  • case workers
  • children
  • families
  • non-government agencies 
  • the wider public.
For more details about community and key partner engagement, download A Fresh Start progress report (PDF 1.3MB) 


Reform Implementation team

Email: CPReform [at] sa.gov.au