Tuesday 26 July 2016
The NSW Strategic Plan for Children and Young People sets a new precedent for how children and young people should be engaged across the board to have a voice in developing policy and programs that will affect them according to the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS).
NCOSS CEO Tracy Howe said children and young people are facing a series of challenges, whether it is about accessing services, getting the education they need or feeling connected to their communities.
“Children and young people deserve to be given every opportunity in a country and a state that are as prosperous as ours. But it is important to remember that we cannot give that to them without engaging them in identifying their challenges, priorities and the solutions they envisage.
“This Plan breaks important ground. The Advocate for Children and Young People, who developed this plan, consulted with over 4000 children around the state to develop the plan. It engages all of government in delivering the solutions. It sets out a path forward.
“This is a new model for how we should be identifying and solving the key challenges for children and young people into the future. Always with their voices at the forefront.”
Ms Howe said this was the first time that a comprehensive Strategic Plan had been developed for how the whole of government could work together to improve outcomes for children and young people.
“Delivering effective services and environments for children and young people to grow and thrive requires commitment and input from across government.
“Getting government to work together, across portfolios, is always a challenge. But this plan has done much of the hard work on what the priorities should be and the action that is needed. Now we just need to see it implemented.
Ms Howe said she was particularly pleased to see the inclusion of indicators in the Plan to target poverty and deprivation.
“We know one in seven children in NSW are experiencing poverty and we know the reasons for this a complex and varied. But it is possible to see vast improvements in this number.
“The focus on addressing poverty and deprivation present in the Plan must be transferred to a plan of action for government. We look forward to seeing the work outlined in this Plan come to life.
“We know it will make a difference and most importantly the children and young people of NSW know it will too.”