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What is Safe & Supported?

Children and young people in Australia have the right to grow up safe, connected and supported in their family, community and culture and to grow up in an environment that enables them to reach their full potential. 

Safe and Supported: the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021 – 2031 sets out how we can work together to ensure that children and young people in Australia reach their full potential by growing up safe and supported, free from harm and neglect. It is Australia’s framework to reduce child abuse and neglect and its intergenerational impacts, building on the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020, which laid the critical foundation for national collaboration on protecting Australia’s children. 

The Framework will drive change through collective effort across governments and sectors that impact the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. It will be delivered through two 5-year Action Plans, setting out a 10-year strategy to improve the lives of children, young people and families experiencing disadvantage or who are vulnerable to abuse and neglect. It consists of an agreed vision and goal, priority groups, focus areas and underpinning principles.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have their own Action Plan across all aspects of Safe and Supported and its Action Plans. These plans will describe the actions and outcomes needed to deliver sustained progress in reducing child abuse and neglect. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan will be developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and communities.

Safe and Supported is the key strategy supporting national efforts to make progress under Target 12 of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, which aims to reduce the rate of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45% over 10 years.

Vision

Children and young people in Australia reach their full potential by growing up safe and supported, free from harm and neglect.

Goal

To make significant and sustained progress in reducing the rates of child abuse and neglect, and its intergenerational impacts.

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Our role

SNAICC is a key partner in the development of Safe and Supported and its subsequent Action Plans, which put in place key commitments from all governments to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations to enhance child development, safety and wellbeing.

Initially, Commonwealth, state and territory Governments partnered with SNAICC, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Group and the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing for the development of a strategy that aims to make significant and sustained progress in reducing the rate of child abuse and neglect and its intergenerational impacts across Australia.

To guide the development of this strategy, which became Safe and Supported, SNAICC led consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations. These consultations provided Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a safe space to express their views on major issues affecting our children. 

Over the course of two years, SNAICC held 12 national consultations across Australia and received over 450 responses via an online survey, all of which helped shape Safe and Supported.

Priority groups & key areas

Safe and Supported is for all Australian children, young people and families, with a targeted focus on groups that are experiencing disadvantage or are vulnerable to abuse and neglect. It aims to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families by focusing its actions on four priority groups across a number of sectors and life stages.

This includes:

  • children and families with multiple and complex needs
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people experiencing disadvantage or who are vulnerable
  • children and young people and/or parents/carers with disability experiencing disadvantage or who are vulnerable
  • children and young people who have experienced abuse and/or neglect, including children in out-of-home and young people leaving out-of-home care and transitioning to adulthood.
The National Framework will improve outcomes for these groups by focusing actions on four key areas:

Action plans

On 31 January 2023, two first-stage action plans were released setting out the key activities to be achieved over the next four years to deliver the Safe and Supported strategy. The voices of children and young people have played a central role in developing both action plans.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan 2023 – 2026 was developed in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership Group. This action plan sets out a transformative agenda to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children, reduce their over-representation in the child protection system and enable them to thrive. The action plan also takes important steps to place First Nations self-determination at the centre of key community services systems.

The Safe and Supported: First National Action Plan 2023 – 2026 focuses on all children and families who are vulnerable, with an emphasis on actions and strategies to support the four priority groups.

Resources

Safe and Supported: the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021 – 2031

Safe and Supported: the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021–2031 is Australia’s framework to reduce child abuse and neglect and its intergenerational impacts.

 

View Safe & Supported
Safe and Supported: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan 2023 – 2026

Action Plan setting out transformative action agenda to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people from harm and enable them to thrive.

 

View First Action Plan
Fact Sheet – Safe and Supported: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan 2023 – 2026

Accompanying Fact Sheet to the First Action Plan 2023-2026.

 

View Fact Sheet

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