Generational Change Annual Report 2018-19

Safe, Thriving and Connected: Generational Change for Children and Families is the Northern Territory Government’s whole-of-government response to support vulnerable children, families and communities. The Generational Change Reform comprises three significant and interrelated reform programs arising from Safe, Thriving and Connected:  Generational Change for Children and Families;  Starting Early for a Better Future: Early Childhood Development in the Northern Territory; and responses to the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

While only 18 months into the reform, promising results are already being delivered including:

  • Fewer young people are cycling through the youth justice system (30% reduction in young people returning to detention over four years)
  • More young people are successfully completing bail orders and community orders (68% of bail orders were successfully completed in 2018-19 compared to 53% in 2015-16)
  • Fewer children are subject to substantiation for abuse or neglect (9% reduction in the number of children subject to substantiation in the last 12 months)
  • Fewer children are entering care (16% fewer children entered out-of-home care compared to the prior year)
  • More Aboriginal children are being cared for by Aboriginal carers (10% increase in the number of Aboriginal children with Aboriginal Carers in the last  12 months)

Key achievements include:

  • From the 218 recommendations that relate to action by the Northern Territory Government stemming from the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT, 90 recommendations are now complete, 125 underway and three not yet started.
  • Establishing Families as First Teachers, Stay Play Learn programs in Braitling, Malak, Belyuen, Epenarra, Kintore, Harts Range, Robinson River and Peppimenarti. This program promotes early literacy and numeracy learning for children from birth to four years and supports families to be their children’s first teacher.
  • Signing six new Local Decision Making Agreements with Aboriginal organisations in Blue Mud Bay, Katherine, Groote Eylandt, Daly River Region and Gurindji and appointing Professor Mick Dodson as the first Northern Territory Treaty Commissioner.
  • Partnering with Aboriginal communities and organisations to progress five new Child and Family Centres in Tennant Creek, Katherine, Wadeye, East Arnhem and Darwin’s Northern Suburbs.
  • Implementing the Housing for Young People program, the first of its kind in the Northern Territory to support young people as they leave care to find and maintain suitable housing.
  • Establishing the NT Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-visiting programs in the East Arnhem, Katherine and Barkly regions.
  • Improving services that Territory Families provides to families, including a new Family Support Hotline, a new Signs of Safety practice framework, and implementing “one child, one case” which streamlines investigations and allows more time to be spent supporting the child and family
  • Introducing three significant amendment Bills to progress child protection and youth justice reforms: Youth Justice Amendment Bill; Youth Justice and Related Legislation Amendment Bill and the Care and Protection of Children Amendment Bill.
  • Development of a Single Act for Children is on track for completion in mid-2021. This is the most significant legislation reform that concerns children in the Northern Territory.

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