More than 130 stakeholder representatives participated in the NGO Consultation Forums held recently in Darwin (9 February) and Alice Springs (16 February).
Honest and robust conversations took place about how best to engage, support and empower our communities to make genuine change that improves outcomes for Territory families and young people.
The message that resonated through the forums was the need to seek out and embrace the voice of children and young people and ensure that ongoing consultation is occurring across communities, non government organisations and government.
The reality is that we all have an interest in child protection and youth justice and want to improve outcomes. The invaluable recommendations from these forums will contribute to the NT Government’s preliminary response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations and the development of an implementation plan and communication strategy.
Key recommendations from the Darwin and Alice Springs forums included:
The Royal Commission report and recommendations shine a strong light on policies and practices that need to be reformed, and they underscore the importance of current initiatives to improve services. Of equal importance, the Commission’s work will help to drive the additional changes required – to care and protection services, youth justice services, and to core prevention and early support services - to help families and communities raise happy, healthy children who grow into thriving, contributing adults.
Ongoing engagement with the non-government sector is a key priority of the Reform Management Office and more consultation forums are being planned in the near future.