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What is the Fourth Action Plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020?

The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 (National Framework) sets a clear agenda and foundation for all Australian governments and non-government organisations to work together to improve the safety and wellbeing outcomes of Australia’s children and young people.

The National Framework was developed to ensure Australia’s children are safe and well. To do this, it set out six outcomes to support this goal. Those outcomes are:

1.       Children live in safe and supportive families and communities

2.       Children and families access adequate support to promote safety and intervene early

3.       Risk factors for child abuse and neglect are addressed

4.       Children who have been abused or neglected receive the support and care they need for their safety and wellbeing

5.       Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are supported and safe in their families and communities

6.       Child Sexual abuse and exploitation is prevented, and survivors receive adequate support.

To work towards the goal and outcomes of the National Framework, three previous three-year action plans have been developed and implemented. Achievements of those plans include the appointment of the National Children’s Commissioner, National Standards for out-of-home-care, and implementation of projects aimed to support vulnerable families meet their needs.

The Fourth Action Plan is the final action plan of the National Framework. However, one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was that the Australian Government should develop a new National Framework for Child Safety together with the state and territory governments which should commence in 2020 at the conclusion of the current National Framework.

The Fourth Action Plan has four Priority Areas:

1.       Improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at risk of entering, or in contact with, child protection systems

2.       Improving prevention and early intervention through joint service planning and investment

3.       Improving outcomes for children in out-of-home care by enhancing placement stability through reunification and other permanent care options

4.       Improving organisations’ and governments’ ability to keep children and young people safe from abuse

Although all Priority Areas are important, Poynting Consulting & Advisory’s mission is to work with organisations to create child safe and child friendly environments. For this reason, our focus is on working with organisations to develop and embed actions to achieve Priority Area 4. The Fourth Action Plan seeks to do this through support and promotion of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. The National Principles are currently in draft awaiting endorsement by COAG.

If your organisation needs support to address the National Principles, contact PCA for a conversation about how we may be able to help your organisation ensure it is doing everything it can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

Bradley Poynting