History of the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2009-2020
In 30 April 2009, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) endorsed the first National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2009–2020 (the National Framework).
The Australian, state and territory governments and the non-government sector, through the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing, agreed to work together on a comprehensive approach to protecting Australia’s children.
The National Framework outlined an ambitious, long-term national approach to ensuring the safety and well-being of Australia’s children.
It aimed to deliver a substantial and sustained reduction in levels of child abuse and neglect over time.
The National Framework was implemented through a series of action plans.
The First Action Plan (2009-2012) under the National Framework was endorsed by Commonwealth, state and territory governments in 2009.
The First Action Plan outlined 12 National Principles that focused action by the Australian, state and territory governments and the non-government sector during the first 3 years of the National Framework. In 2010, Ministers identified Working with Children Checks as an additional National Priority.
Key Achievements under the First Action Plan 2009-2012 include:
The (Second Action Plan 2012–2015) under the National Framework was endorsed by Commonwealth, state and territory governments in 2012.
The Second Action Plan emphasised the need to develop local partnerships to deliver local solutions, recognising that a ‘one-size fits all’ approach does not work across Australia’s diverse communities.
Key achievements under the Second Action Plan 2012–2015 include:
- Trialling of the Child Aware Approaches (CAA) initiative that builds on partnerships between Commonwealth, state and territory governments and the community sector;
- Development of the Child Protection National Minimum Data Set;
- Reforming the Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA); and
- National Research Agenda for Protecting Children 2011-2014 - 3 research projects comprised key components of the National Research Agenda.
The Third Action Plan (2015–2018) under the National Framework was endorsed by Commonwealth, state and territory Ministers in October 2015.
Three strategies were included in the Third Action Plan:
- early intervention, with a focus on the early years — particularly the first 1,000 days for a child
- helping young people in out-of-home care to thrive in adulthood
- organisations responding better to children and young people to keep them safe.
There were two cross-cutting focus areas:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families
- research and reporting under the Third Action Plan.
Key achievements under the Third Action Plan 2015–2018 include:
- The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, developed in response to the recommendations out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
- Reframing Parenting to improve the ways we talk about parenting and what children need to thrive.
- The Building Capacity in Australian Parents Trial (branded ‘Parent Link’) to build parenting skills and strengths-based parenting behaviours.
- The First 1000 Days to raise community awareness about the importance of the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.
- Towards Independent Adulthood (TIA) provided wrap-around support services for young people moving on from out-of-home care. An evaluation report of the TIA trial is available.
- The Inter-jurisdictional Child Protection Information Sharing Project.
The Fourth Action Plan (2018-2020) under the National Framework was endorsed by Commonwealth, state and territory Ministers in December 2018.
The 4 key priorities of the Fourth Action Plan were:
- Improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children at risk of entering, or in contact with child protection systems.
- Improving prevention and early intervention through joint service planning and investment.
- Improving outcomes for children in out-of-home care by enhancing placement stability through reunification and other permanent care options.
- Improving organisations’ ability to keep children and young people safe from abuse.
Key achievements under the Fourth Action Plan 2018-2020 include:
- Stronger Places, Stronger People – a place-based collective impact initiative that focuses on interrupting disadvantage in 10 communities across Australia.
- Guide to Support Implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle was developed by SNAICC – National Voice for our Children, including a series of related workshops with child protection practitioners and policy makers.
Evaluations of the National Framework
The Department of Social Services commissioned evaluations of the National Framework, at the mid-way point and the end of the Framework. These evaluations were used to inform the second half of the Framework and the development of Safe and Supported.
- National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children Annual Report 2009-10
- National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children Annual Report 2010-11
- National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children Annual Report 2011-12
- National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children Annual Report 2012-13
- National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children Annual Report 2013-14
- National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children Annual Report 2014-15 and 2015-16
- National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children Annual Report 2016-17 and 2017-18
- Talking with young people about the National Framework
- Child-friendly version of Talking with Young People about the National Framework