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NSW State Election 2023 - NCOSS Policy Priority 6

Bolster children's safety, social development and educations outcomes

Children in NSW have faced major upheavals over the last three years, as families have dealt with increasing financial stress, and the closure of schools and childcare has impacted learning and social development. The full impacts are still unfolding but a concerning picture is emerging.

NCOSS recommendations

NCOSS calls on the next NSW Parliament to -

  • Increase investment in the Targeted Early Intervention Program by 25%, prioritising Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.
  • Continue evidence-based implementation of high quality school tutoring
    programs to counter the long-term impacts of lost education due to COVID.
  • Implement the Family is Culture blueprint through a genuine partnership and shared decision making with Aboriginal leaders, Community Controlled Organisations and communities.
  • Enhance timely access to health and social services for children and their families in disadvantaged communities, by extending the ‘School Gateway Project’ in its South West Sydney location and to another two school sites in NSW.

Coalition- NSW Liberal Party and NSW Nationals

No significant announcements identified.

The Greens NSW

For First Nations children, The Greens have committed to -

  • Raise the Age of Criminal Responsibility to 14 years of age and no person under 16 years of age in New South Wales will go to prison.
  • Put an end to the ongoing Stolen Generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families and country by giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through their families, elders and communities self-determination in respect of their children.
  • Acknowledge that empowered, respected and adequately resourced Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, elders and communities are best placed to understand the needs and protect the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
  • Recognise that the definition of ‘family’ within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and culture is distinctly different from the Anglo-Australian nuclear family model, and that kinship care and care on country are vital for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and communities.
  • Implement policies that ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, elders, kinship groups, representative organisations and communities are given the opportunity to participate in decisions made concerning the placement and care of their children and young persons.
  • Develop achievable pathways to family restoration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children currently in out-of-home care.
  • Require NSW government agencies to adopt strategies resulting in a "substantial increase" in meaningful participation in service delivery by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples.

For all children, The Greens have committed to -

  • Support an overhaul of the Department of Family and Community Services as recommended by the child welfare sector. Consideration should be given to the recommendation to separate the 3 key functions of FACS, namely child protection, family assistance/support (prevention) and out-of-home care.
  • Increase resources to programs which are likely to prevent child abuse such as early intervention, respite care, child care for children at risk and home visiting programs which are integrated with professional services for vulnerable people.
  • Support investigations into the "untenably high" numbers of children being reported to the Department as being at risk of significant harm as well as the high numbers of children deemed to require statutory out of home care.

NSW Labor

Have committed to -

  • Establish an ongoing, targeted Literacy and Numeracy Tutoring Program beginning on 1 July 2023 – focused on students who need it most, and providing ongoing, permanent support to help students keep up.

Published February 2023. For reference and context, please visit NCOSS Policy Tracker 2023 and NCOSS Policy Platform 2023: Working Together for a Fairer NSW.

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