The Child Protection System, both in Western Australia and nationally, are struggling. Children are entering care earlier and staying for longer, Aboriginal children and young people are vastly overrepresented, incidences and allegations of abuse are rampant and young people leaving state care are at a much higher risk of unemployment, homelessness, developing a mental illness or struggling with education.
Many children placed in out of home care have complex needs relating to previous experiences. This trauma can be significantly compounded through being placed in state care, which can be distressing time for young people. Early-intervention services are overlooked and underfunded whilst money is flooded to crisis services. It’s time for a concerted effort for systemic change to create improving outcomes for children in care and to smooth the transition when leaving care.
We must be the drivers of this change.