On Tuesday 22 June 2021 the State budget was handed down, containing a raft of measures that will provide improved support for our children and young people.

These include:

  • $42.1m over four years to support children and young people in care, recognising the need for more child protection practitioners and direct service delivery staff to deliver child protection supports.
  • $9.7m over five years to the Newpin program – an intensive, therapeutic centre-based child protection and parent education program that works therapeutically with families who have a young child or children in care to facilitate safe reunification.
  • $2.7m over four years to extend DCP’s Stability In Care Program – Next Steps to support more young people up to the age of 21 years, particularly those in non-family based care.
  • $1.2m over two years to support the establishment and operation of a Significant Incident Reporting Unit in DCP, per the Rice Review’s recommendation to streamline reporting processes.
  • $885k per annum (indexed) to provide family group conferences as an ongoing program, building on the successful pilot program delivered by Relationships Australia SA and expanding it to support pregnant women the subject of an Unborn Child Concern.

In addition to these, a range of other important announcements that will support the capacity of our partners across the sector to provide much needed early intervention and prevention programs for vulnerable children and their families:

  • $163.5m over four years to strengthen the mental health system by responding to the immediate need for additional support services and investing in a more flexible and resilient system, supporting the Mental Health Services Plan.
  • $134m over five years for family support and safety services, supporting women and children at risk of domestic violence.
  • $50.1m over four years for an Early Learning Strategy, which will deliver support for child development, parent engagement in learning, responsive local services and increased participation in early childhood settings, including $35.1m to expand the reach, frequency and number of child development checks.
  • $11.3m over six years for Resilient Families – Social Impact Investment, supporting 300 families with children aged under 9 years who have been referred for protective family preservation where unaddressed concerns are likely to result in out-of-home care.
  • $4.6m over four years for Continuity of Support – Voluntary Out-Of-Home Care to prevent children with a disability and exceptional needs from unnecessarily entering statutory care services by funding accommodation and living costs along with case coordination costs where needed.
  • $4.2m over four years to support the position of Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, which has been embedded in legislation to have the same powers as the Commissioner for Children and Young People.
  • $339k in 2021-22 for Youth Court Resources, recognising the increased workloads in the care and protection jurisdiction.

A summary of key State budget measures is available on the state budget website.