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Child Wellbeing and Development

The Challenge

  • More than 1 in 7 children live below the poverty line in NSW.
  • Children in the Out-Of-Home Care (OOHC) system are at significantly greater risk of a lower quality of life, educational attainment and employment outcomes.
  • The high number of children and young people in OOHC could be significantly reduced if families received early intervention and preservation support.

What’s In the 2024-2025 Budget?

  • $224M to expand the Government’s role as a foster care provider to move kids out of emergency accommodation and increase recruitment of longer-term foster carers.
  • $86.9M for youth justice initiatives to divert young people away from police and courts through community programs, including Youth On Track & Bail Assistance and Accommodation Support Service.
  • $130.9M Family Start package including:
    • $40M to support child health in the first 2,000 days.
    • $21.3M for the Waminda Birth Centre and Community Hub.
  • $481.1M to increase the Gonski Schooling Resource Standard from 72% to 75%, two years earlier than planned.
  • $4.9M to help vulnerable teens to re-engage with education & training.


NCOSS Position

  • NCOSS supports the focus on getting kids out of unsafe emergency care arrangements but calls on the NSW Government to investment more into early intervention and prevention programs.
  • Investment in recruitment for longer term foster carers is promising, but further investment is required in foster carers to provide adequate training and an allowance that reflects the important role that they play.
  • NCOSS welcomes the increased funding for existing diversionary programs for young people at risk of being in conflict with the law. Far greater investment into a holistic response is required to reduce the number of children in jail, including raising the age of criminal responsibility.

Read our other analyses

Housing and Homelessness — (Download as a PDF)

Cost of Living — (Download as a PDF)

Disasters and Building Resilience — (Download as a PDF)

Sector Sustainability — (Download as a PDF) 

Domestic and Family Violence — (Download as a PDF)

Health — (Download as a PDF)