New South Wales Announces New Child Protection Taskforce

September 5, 2021 Updated: September 5, 2021

A new child wellbeing task force in New South Wales (NSW) will bring together the state’s government agencies and community sector leaders to develop a plan for the transition out of lockdown.

NSW Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Alister Henskens said the task force would focus on the wellbeing of children and young people as the state moved out of lockdown.

“We’ve worked hard throughout the lockdown to ensure continuity of services and support for at-risk children, but we also recognise that this difficult time may have adversely affected some children and young people,” Henskens said.

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Kids in NSW, Australia have been schooling remotely as lockdown continues. Kids work at their family home and cattle property on April 05, 2020 in Tarpoly Creek, Australia. (Getty Images).

The task force, which meets for the first time next week, will initially focus on promoting awareness of child abuse and neglect to all frontline workers, expanding access to digital devices for at-risk families and improving support for young people exiting out-of-home care.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said the new task force would help frontline staff identify kids at risk and connect them to support.

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A teacher reads a story to young students in Australia, May 18, 2017. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

“As frontline workers, it’s important teachers know what to look out for and how to respond when they see something that is not right,” Mitchell said.

Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies chief executive Steve Kinmond said to help vulnerable children access educational opportunities, the government, educators and community services needed to work together.

“We have no doubt that only a strong partnership between government agencies and the non-government sector will deliver the best outcomes for vulnerable children and families,” Kinmond said.