Capacity building and workforce development

The final version of the Keep Them Safe Workforce Development and NGO Capacity Building Plan is now available. The Plan has been endorsed by the NSW Government and was agreed to by the Keep Them Safe (KTS) Child Protection Advisory Group.

Developed during 2009–10 with substantial input from the non-government sector, the Plan will be implemented over a five-year period commencing 2010–11. Implementation will be led by a steering committee comprised of non-government organisation (NGO) peak organisations and government representatives. Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS) will chair this steering committee on behalf of Federation of Non-Government Agencies (FONGA).

The Plan has been built up from targeted conversations with key NGO representative groups. The joint steering committee process for implementation of the Plan acknowledges the need for strong collaboration between government agencies and the non-government sector to progress the objectives of Keep Them Safe.

Respect for the autonomy of the NGO sector is a core principle of the Plan. It also acknowledges the need for government agencies to change their approach to working with NGOs, and embrace this partnership approach in all aspects of dealings with the sector.

The Plan emphasises the need for targeted activities to support the specific needs of Aboriginal NGOs, particularly the development of more meaningful local partnerships; improving early intervention and prevention service delivery in regional and local Aboriginal communities; improving cultural proficiency for staff involved in supporting Aboriginal children, young people, their families, and communities; and particular strategies to improve Aboriginal employment.

Funding for the 2010–11 Keep Them Safe Workforce Development and NGO Capacity Building Plan projects is currently being negotiated; project proposals will be developed by the steering committee. All project funding is subject to NSW Government approval. Future funds for KTS Capacity Building and Workforce projects will be allocated based on the strategic business case developed by the steering committee.

The NSW Government has already initiated a range of Workforce and Capacity Building activities related to the objectives of KTS. Successful implementation of the Plan will build on existing activities in the government and NGO sphere and leverage opportunities in an environment where resources are limited.

The implementation of the Plan is an exciting opportunity and challenge. Fundamental to the success of Keep Them Safe is a respectful, intelligent, and real collaboration between the non-government sector and NSW Government agencies.