Vulnerable South Australian families are receiving more support than ever before thanks to new, innovative programs and whole-of-government reforms being delivered across areas such as health, education, criminal justice, human services and child protection.

The Safe and Well 2021 Annual Report highlights the significant progress that has been made across the child protection system in the past 12 months to support our families, protect children and invest in their futures.

Significant 2020/21 achievements include:

  • Investing a record $52 million into the Child and Family Support System over the next four years specifically targeting the reduction of child abuse and neglect through a range of new measures and actions
  • Piloting an internationally renowned specialised foster care program Treatment Foster Care Oregon that will give our most vulnerable children and young people the opportunity to live with a specially trained carer who will provide full-time, one-on-one support
  • Transitioning the Family Group Conferencing pilot to an ongoing measure, a service which aims to keep vulnerable families together if safe to do so
  • Recruiting an additional 78 foster carers
  • Increasing the number of Aboriginal children and young people placed in care in accordance with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle from 977 at 30 June 2020 to 1092 at 30 June 2021
  • Launching a new online hub promoting priority access to services for children and young people in care and post-care as part of the recently expanded Investing in their future initiative
  • Announcing additional funding for government preschools and schools to use for children in care, including at key transition points in their schooling.

Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson said the State Government remained committed to improving outcomes for our most vulnerable children and young people – and their families.

“We want all South Australian families to be able to provide their children with a safe and healthy environment in which they can thrive and reach their potential,” said Minister Sanderson.

“Our Safe and Well strategy is driving our efforts to support families whose children are at risk of entering care and it’s helping protect children and young people from harm. In addition, we’re investing in young people in care and post care providing them with opportunities for a bright future.”

“We know many of our most vulnerable families and children are experiencing complex issues and increased levels of vulnerability and that’s why it’s more important than ever before that this cohort gets the right support, at the right time.

“Right across Government, we’re implementing new measures to better support our vulnerable families from new early intervention measures and programs, to boosted support for expectant mothers and education initiatives to improving schooling outcomes, with the aim of turning the tide and outcomes for these South Australians.”

Launched in 2019, the Safe and Well strategy outlines the State Government’s plan to support vulnerable families to thrive and keep children safe.