Fams Chief Executive Officer Julie Hourigan Ruse would like to congratulate Alister Henskens on his elevation to Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services.

There are currently exciting things happening in the sector to support better outcomes for vulnerable kids, as well as emerging issues.

As the peak body for non-government organisations in NSW who provide services to vulnerable children and families, we look forward to continuing our long and highly constructive relationship with the NSW Government.

We are keen to work with Alister Henskens to ensure we meet the Premier’s Priority to decrease the number of children and young people re-reported at Risk of Significant Harm (ROSH) by 20 per cent by the year 2023.

According to the latest data by the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), of the 115,709 children reported as at Risk Of Significant Harm, 36,005 or (31 per cent) have been seen by a caseworker.

We have made some great progress on plans with the Berejiklian Government to drive these numbers in the right direction – particularly during COVID – and look forward to discussing those with Alister Henskens.

Fams’ telepractice research

In partnership with Southern Cross University, Fams is looking into how digital technologies can improve practice and drive better outcomes for kids, particularly following COVID-19 lockdowns.

The aim of this project is to develop a model of best practice for service delivery using online technologies to better support the sector, vulnerable families, their kids and their communities.

In-person service delivery will never be replaced, but Fams believes it can be better supplemented with digital delivery so that we can see more families and children more often.

We believe this has the potential to change the long-term trajectory of our children and young people by increasing safety, education, and health outcomes, and reduce dependence on long-term crisis services.