Child Protection Measure - Western Australian Early Implementation 

Key elements

As part of its commitment to tackle child abuse and neglect, the Australian Government is developing a National Child Protection Framework, which will include practical measures such as quarantining welfare payments to ensure payments are spend in the best interests of children.

This measure is a key part of the National Child Protection Framework, an election commitment of the Rudd Government.

The Australian Government is committed to a child centred approach to family policy. Practical measures such as income management ensure that welfare payments are spent in the best interests of children.

This measure will initially be implemented in selected trial communities in Western Australia from mid 2008, providing the Western Australian Government the option of requesting the Commonwealth Government to manage a family's income support and family payments.

The Department for Child Protection will have the ability to request Centrelink to apply compulsory income management of income support and family payments, as an additional tool in their broader case management work where a child may be at risk of neglect or being neglected.

It is expected that up to 1,000 individuals will be referred to Centrelink through this measure.

To maximise the outcomes of the Child Protection measure, the Government is investing in additional financial management services to help parents subject to income management to deal with immediate financial difficulties and build skills to better manage their finances and provide for their children in the long-term.
 

Background

The Australian Government announced, on 27 February 2008, that a trial of welfare payment conditionality and income management would occur in selected communities in Western Australia. The release of this measure in specific Western Australian areas from mid 2008 forms the first trial of the Child Protection measure.
 

Implementation

Early implementation will occur from mid 2008, in selected communities within Western Australia and will inform the national implementation of this measure.
 

Total Government Funding

$18.9 million over two years.

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