More than 100 families across NSW have benefitted from an in-home support program that aims to improve parenting skills and keep children safely at home.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the SafeCare program is another example of the NSW Government’s focus on delivering evidence-based early intervention initiatives.
“By intervening early to support vulnerable families, using programs that are backed by evidence, we can achieve positive outcomes,” Mr Ward said.
“SafeCare, along with the Government’s other evidence-based services have helped drive a 42 per cent reduction in the number of children and young people in out-of-home care since 2015-16.”
Founded in the United States, SafeCare involves structured training sessions for parents at risk, or with a history of, child abuse or neglect. Caseworkers visit families every week for a 90-minute session that aims to improve relationships, child health and home safety.
Barnardos is one of eight organisations delivering the program and CEO Deirdre Cheers said the program has seen parents become more confident and build positive, healthy relationships with their children.
“Parenting doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and many of the parents and carers who come to Barnardos Children’s Family Centres find raising children very challenging,” Ms Cheers said.
“SafeCare provides these parents with the knowledge and skills to keep their children safe at home. Backed by research, SafeCare has delivered remarkable improvements in child safety, helping to keep families together.”
The initiative supports the Premier’s priorities to decrease the proportion of children and young people re-reported at risk of significant harm by 20 per cent by 2023, and to double the number of children in safe and permanent homes by 2023 for children in, or at risk of entering, out-of-home care.
SafeCare is delivered by Wesley Mission (Western Sydney), CareSouth (Illawarra), Barnardos (Central West, Orana and Western NSW), CatholicCare (Mid North Coast), Samaritans (Newcastle and Central Coast), Mission Australia (Wagga Wagga), Wandiyali Aboriginal Community and Children’s Service (Newcastle and Central Coast) and SDN Children’s Services (Central, Eastern, Inner and Southern Sydney).