The NSW Government is investing $23.7 million over four years to help address the over-representation of First Nations families in the child protection and justice systems.
Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said the additional assistance in the 2022-23 NSW Budget would empower First Nations communities to help families thrive.
“We are committed to Closing the Gap and to do this we need to make sure that First Nations people are at the centre of decision-making. Taking this approach is key to improving outcomes for vulnerable families,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.
“This significant investment is aimed at building on the strengths of communities so that First Nations families can make decisions that empower them.”
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Franklin said the funding supported initiatives that would work toward meeting Closing the Gap targets.
“The NSW Government is committed to meeting its Closing the Gap targets by 2031. This funding supports key initiatives that improve outcomes for First Nations families across the State,” Mr Franklin said.
The initiatives include:
• $9.9 million over four years for the Aboriginal Child and Family Advocacy Support pilot aimed at keeping First Nations families safely together and prevent them from appearing before the Children’s Court
• $8.7 million over four years for Strong Families Our Way, which supports a sustainable, community-led approach to self-determination in the First Nations child and family system
• $1.1 million over four years for Therapeutic Pathways for Children to better support children with complex needs, with a focus on addressing offending behaviour to reduce contact with the justice system
• $3.9 million over four years to bolster First Nations-led commissioning to give communities decision-making power over the design, delivery and monitoring of programs and services