Anglicare SA

Child protection response delivers required changes

AnglicareSA has supported the State Government’s response to the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission which places the highest priority on the interests of...

AnglicareSA has supported the State Government’s response to the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission which places the highest priority on the interests of children.

CEO Peter Sandeman said the four-year, $432 million commitment will go a long way in helping deliver many of the necessary reforms to create a new child protection system that will ensure the state’s most vulnerable children get the support they need and deserve.

“We have long been advocates of ensuring that the best interests of a child under the guardianship of the Minister are at the forefront of all considerations and we welcome this being recognised in the draft legislation,” Peter said.

“A new Act that requires every person, service and organisation to demonstrate that their policies, practices and decisions that affect children are purely based on what’s best for the child is essential.

“The proposed changes will hold the State Government and agencies like AnglicareSA accountable when it assumes parental responsibility. We should all be held to account, but in the past this hasn’t always been the case.”

Peter said he welcomed the commitment in delivering Justice Nyland’s proposed Child and Family Assessment and Referral network, regionally located and based on identified community need, trends and patterns.

“We would support a new network where less urgent notifications that don’t require an immediate response would be managed and responded to by this network and overseen by a non-government organisation,” Peter said.

“However the network warrants more discussion and thinking around the initial referrals process, including who manages the assessment and decision about what level of risk a situation presents. Our view is that these are professional and expert decisions which should be implemented accordingly.”

Peter said he was also pleased to see a focus and investment in much-needed early intervention strategies, which will ultimately reduce and prevent children from entering the system.

“Ideally the best outcome for a child is to be in a supported, safe and stable family environment and focussing on strengthening families must be a priority of the system,” Peter said.

“We need to reduce the number of children in residential care and better support our foster and kinship carers, who in the past have been the behind the scenes heroes lacking the rights and recognition they so thoroughly deserve.”

AnglicareSA also welcomes the recognition that young people leaving care often need and seek supports beyond 18 years of age in line with what generally happens in our community.

As part of the engagement process AnglicareSA will review the draft Children and Young People (Safety) Bill 2016 and provide comment.

Taking a closer look at Nyland’s child protection recommendations

Responding to the final report of the South Australian Child Protection Systems Royal Commission was the focus of an AnglicareSA oration and Flinders University...

Responding to the final report of the South Australian Child Protection Systems Royal Commission was the focus of an AnglicareSA oration and Flinders University research to practice seminar.

AnglicareSA CEO Peter Sandeman, who presented the oration, said his speech focused on some of the key areas of Justice Nyland’s report including prevention and early intervention, continuation of care, permanency planning and post care support.

“The Nyland report tells us what we have all known for some time – the system has been operating in crisis and the resulting 260 recommendations highlights the amount of work required to fix it,” Peter said.

“We know from the work of Professor John Lynch of Adelaide University that one in four South Australian children are the subject of a notification to Families SA. We need to work together to create a child safe South Australia, where all of our children can thrive.

“Justice Nyland points out that a range of early intervention/prevention strategies need to be developed so services are layered to meet the differing and diverse needs of families.

“We need to identify families in difficulty early because intensive support can better enable children to be safe within their biological families, and we also need to have swift, authoritative and effective assessments when it is unsafe for children to remain and when they cannot return.”

Peter said AnglicareSA is a strong advocate for permanency planning and greater rights for foster carers to will give foster children security and wellbeing and provide carers with greater input into decisions and better support.

“A strategy to avoid delay and drift in care and maximise the timely placement of children into a family for life, whether that be a return home or to live with another family, is a fundamental requirement of the new system,” Peter said.

“Foster care and kinship families are the lifeline of the out-of-home care sector, so we must be doing more in to respect, support and give parental rights to carers.”

Peter said he also used his speech to continue the push to support care leavers until the age of 25.

“The statistics for care leavers tell us that we are not doing enough to support their transition into adulthood and independence. We need to mirror what happens in the general community, where largely, we continue to support our children well into their early adult life,” he said.

According to Peter, it’s time for all sides of politics and the relevant sectors to work together and deliver change.

“Now is not the time to be playing politics with child protection. As a community we want the strongest, most supportive and effective system possible, but it is only achievable through a bi-partisan commitment that reaches beyond political and social agendas,” Peter said.

Following the oration, responses to the report were also be made by Associate Professor Lorna Hallahan who discussed the intersections of the report with current adoption issues and Associate Professor Damien Riggs who discussed carers’ concerns with the report.

The event was supported by AnglicareSA, Flinders University and the Australian Social Policy Association.

 

Click on the below link to read Peter’s speech:

P Sandeman speech – Response to the Nyland Report AnglicareSA Oration 24 10 16

AnglicareSA welcomes plan to combat domestic violence

AnglicareSA has welcomed the Federal Government’s $100 million package to help combat domestic violence. Acting Chief Executive Officer, Jackie Howard said...

AnglicareSA has welcomed the Federal Government’s $100 million package to help combat domestic violence.

Acting Chief Executive Officer, Jackie Howard said increased government funding is vital in combatting violence against women and children.

“We’re hearing and seeing increased instances of cases where domestic violence is occurring, which highlights the need for integrated programs and educational initiatives to be adequately funded to respond in a timely and appropriate way.”

Federal Government figures show that one in six Australian women has experienced violence from a current or former partner, and 63 women have been killed so far this year.

“These are just the cases we know of, but there are countless other cases where women and children are too afraid to speak up or can’t access the help that they need.”

“AnglicareSA provide support to over 500 families annually through a variety of programs engaging victims and perpetrators of domestic and family violence, and funding plays a critical role in managing these programs.

“Having coordinated legal, social work and cultural liaison services in a single location means that those who need these services have much easier access to them in the one spot which will ultimately lead to better service delivery. The $15 million of funding is a step in the right direction to achieve this.

“We also welcome the $14 million expansion of the DV-alert programme which will ensure that those on the front line are equipped to provide the help and support that is desperately needed.

“Today’s announcement allows for a much needed increase in tools and resources to help combat domestic violence.

“It will ensure increased capacity to better manage and offer services, while at the same time raise public awareness and encourage those who experience or witness domestic violence to come forward and seek help.”

Safe communities will be realised through increased awareness and understanding of violence and its causes, a shared vision held by communities for safe and respectful relationships, and swift and appropriate responses when safety is violated.

 

Kids coping with divorce

A new study in the UK has found many kids are struggling to deal with divorce. Nearly two thirds of kids say it affects their school results. ABC 3 News interviewed...

A new study in the UK has found many kids are struggling to deal with divorce. Nearly two thirds of kids say it affects their school results. ABC 3 News interviewed AnglicareSA’s Senior Case Manager, Robin Howard, about what Australian kids can do if they need some help.

 

AnglicareSA Autism Specific Early Learning Centre

An early learning and care centre for children with autism will receive a $2.1 million boost from the Australian Government to improve its ability to provide early...

An early learning and care centre for children with autism will receive a $2.1 million boost from the Australian Government to improve its ability to provide early learning programs and specific support services in Prospect, Adelaide.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas delivered the announcement during a visit to the Daphne Street Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre today.

“We know how important early intervention services are for children with autism, and these centres will provide the support needed during the most critical period of a child’s development,” Senator McLucas said.

“Families can access the support of a team of autism-trained staff at the centre, including early childhood teachers, occupational therapists and speech pathologists.

Meeting with local families at the centre, Senator for South Australia Anne McEwen welcomed the funding boost.

“The team at the Daphne Street Centre are achieving great results, ensuring local children get the best possible start to life and are prepared for school,” Senator McEwen said.

“This capital injection of $2.1 million will help the Daphne Street Centre meet the needs of local children with autism spectrum disorder by providing much needed extra space and facilities.”

The centre is one of six autism specific centres established by the Australian Government as part of the $220 million Helping Children with Autism package, the first national initiative to help families and children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The Helping Children with Autism package also provides up to $12,000 for families to access early intervention services and therapies for their young children, including access to autism advisors, family support and playgroups.

“Since the initiative began just over three years ago, we have helped more than 19,000 children, as well as their families and carers. This shows us how important the Helping Children with Autism initiative is for so many people.”

Senator McLucas said the Government would continue to focus on supporting these children and families in the early years as it works to build a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“A National Disability Insurance Scheme would really focus on making sure early intervention services are available to families when they need them, so our children start on the right foot,” she said.

The Australian Government will deliver $1 billion over four years for the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“This funding will see a National Disability Insurance Scheme start in mid-2013 for around 10,000 people with significant and permanent disabilities in select locations across the country. This will increase to 20,000 people from mid-2014.”

For more information on the Helping Children with Autism package, visit www.fahcsia.gov.au.