31 July 2018

Investing in children and their families: The right support in the right place at the right time

The purpose of this paper is to contribute knowledge from frontline experience to the discussion of prevention and early intervention and to advocate for an evidence informed approach to investment in children and their families. This paper outlines a pathway for addressing the policy reforms required in New South Wales to ensure that children and families do not fall through the cracks. The authors argue that significant additional investment is needed to fund true preventative action to support at-risk children and families, slow the rate of entry to out-of-home care and save the NSW government money in the long-term. Further, the authors recommend a coordinated approach to prevention and early intervention in which the NSW government and the sector work together to better adopt, fund, measure, evaluate and iterate a service delivery model that satisfies best practice service delivery approaches. They argue it is unacceptable for government to fail to invest in prevention while increasing expenditure on out-of-home care, as the increase in out-of-home care is larger than it ought to be due to a failure to invest in prevention responses.