Throughout the last year, Fams engaged in many groups with government and service providers. These groups ranged from specific Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) district sector conversations to the ongoing consultation and review of The Mandatory Reporter Guide.
Fams partnered with our peak body colleagues across the sector to compose a joint letter to Premier Dominic Perrottet, proposing increased support for the social services sector and the communities they served during the pandemic.
Some of the proposals included prioritising RATs, providing up-to-date advice for frontline services, and supporting essential services to meet the challenges of Omicron while keeping staff and vulnerable communities safe.
Our submission to the Department of Social Services consultation paper: Implementing the successor plan to the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 was informed by the sector’s voice, and the voice of the community.
The submission highlighted barriers, challenges, and proposals for better service outcomes for the early intervention and prevention sector.
We also worked alongside AbSec and DCJ to develop a fact sheet that outlined how TEI service providers could embed the key principles of the Aboriginal Case Management Policy across their program activities.
Fams was an active member of The Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services statewide COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Taskforce. The Taskforce priorities were to meet the needs of vulnerable children and young people in NSW during and after the COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions were lifted. The Taskforce has also enabled government and non-government organisations (NGOs) to support child wellbeing in local communities.
A key component of our advocacy has been to engage with the Minister and Shadow Minister to ensure the incredible work of the sector is on their radar. We continue to advocate for the sustainability and growth of the early intervention and prevention sector if we are to reduce family vulnerabilities and the significant number of children in out-of-home-care.
We have commenced the development of our election ask in consultation with the sector for 2023.
The Family Preservation Recommissioning saw us increase our engagement with service providers from the Brighter Futures Lead Agency quarterly practice forums to a larger group of agencies that now combine to form the Family Preservation Program.
In the early stages of the recommissioning process, Fams was asked by the sector to facilitate a space where service providers could talk about common challenges and issues relating to the reform. We facilitated several online forums for sector feedback and passed on those concerns to Government.
Fams continues to support service providers going forward by providing a space where they can share their concerns and develop a shared voice to Government.