In Welfare Services

Western Australia Minister for Child Protection Robyn McSweeney

WA’s Child Protection Framework Leads The Way 

Victor P Taffa

  • Child protection workers inspired by international gathering
  • WA’s child protection framework used around the world

Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney today welcomed more than 500 local, interstate and international child protection workers who are in Perth for a three-day conference.

The Signs of Safety Gathering, which began this morning, is the sixth of its kind to be held around the world and will feature local presenters alongside international child protection practitioners from Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, all of whom have adopted Western Australia’s home-grown child protection framework, Signs of Safety.

“Signs of Safety drive on-the-ground child protection practice; essentially it is a framework that provides child protection workers with the tools to work with children and families to deliver safe and positive outcomes.” Mrs. McSweeney said.

Signs of Safety were developed in WA and have been adopted in more than 32 jurisdictions in 11 different countries across Australia, NZ, North America and Europe.

“This gathering is an opportunity for the international community of child protection workers to reflect on the work they do to protect our precious children.” the Minister said.

“Participants can share what they have learnt; celebrate successes and challenges; be inspired; and set a path for how child protection practice continues to develop.”

A highlight of this year’s gathering will be presentations on how Signs of Safety is delivering real outcomes in communities around the world, including a case study on how the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services Society, an Aboriginal agency in British Columbia, Canada is achieving great results in their community.

“By sharing this information on how Signs of Safety is working across the world, it is possible to draw parallels with child protection work in our Aboriginal communities, improving our own engagement with families.” Mrs. McSweeney said.

“Signs of Safety have been implemented by the State Government’s Department for Child Protection since 2008 and since then WA has come to be regarded as a world leader in this very difficult, challenging and ultimately rewarding area.”

Fact File

  • DCP’s budget has increased by more than 50% in the past four years to $536 M per year
  • Caseworkers have also increased by about 250 to about 780
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