Expanding the role of non-government organisations (NGOs) in providing services to children and families is a critical component of Keep Them Safe.
The NSW Government has committed a $750 million funding package to implement Keep Them Safe over five years. Over 40 per cent of this package will go to NGOs, to support an expanded role in delivering early intervention and prevention services as well as out-of-home care.
Keep Them Safe radically reshapes the way family and community services are delivered in NSW, sharing responsibility across government agencies and NGOs. Building a stronger partnership between government and NGOs is fundamental to changing the way we support children and families.
Keep Them Safe includes commitments to develop the capacity of the non-government sector to take an expanded role in service delivery, as well as strategies to change the culture and develop skills and capacity across the public and non-government sector workforces. There are specific strategies for Aboriginal organisations to ensure a partnership approach to working with Aboriginal children and families.
This is about making sure that we deliver on our promises to at-risk children, young people, and their families, by having responsive and sustainable services in place to support them.
Building the workforce is integral. Our focus will be on opportunities for joint training, networking and skill development, providing resources to NGOs to help with their own workforce planning, and investing in developing management and governance capabilities. There will be a special focus on Aboriginal NGOs to build up strong organisations that meet local needs. Keep Them Safe consulted key NGO peaks on the design, content, and coverage of these plans in early November 2009, and expect to have them in place by mid-2011.
An important new component of Keep Them Safe, Family Referral Services (FRS), is being run by NGOs. FRS is being trialled from early 2010, and will be responsible for connecting vulnerable families and children with local services.
The Regional Engagement Tour in September/October 2009 led by ACWA included both the government and non-government sectors. The Regional Engagement Tour report is available on the ACWA website. Statewide information sessions across NSW from October 2009 to January 2010 were also cross-sector, as much of the future training will be.