Protecting Australia's Children

The National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2009-2020

On 30 April 2009, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) endorsed the first National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2009–2020 (the National Framework).

In response to the increasing number of Australian children who are being exposed to child abuse and neglect, the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments and the non-government sector, through the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing, are working together to implement a comprehensive national approach to protecting Australia’s children.

The National Framework outlines an ambitious, long-term national approach to ensuring the safety and well-being of Australia’s children. It aims to deliver a substantial and sustained reduction in levels of child abuse and neglect over time. The National Framework is being implemented through a series of action plans.

The Fourth Action Plan: 2018 – 2020

The Fourth Action Plan (2018-2020) under the National Framework was endorsed by Commonwealth, state and territory Ministers in December 2018.

The four key priorities of the Fourth Action Plan are:

  • 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:

  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (ATSICPP) aims to keep children connected to their families, communities, cultures and country while ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people participate in decisions about their children’s care and protection. SNAICC – National Voice for our Children has developed a Guide to Support Implementation of the ATSICPP. Based on the new resource, SNAICC has held workshops with state and territory government child protection practitioners and policy makers, to support better implementation of the Child Placement Principle.

The Third Action Plan: 2015–2018

The Third Action Plan (2015–2018) under the National Framework was endorsed by Commonwealth, state and territory Ministers in October 2015.

Three strategies are included in the Third Action Plan:

  1. early intervention, with a focus on the early years — particularly the first 1,000 days for a child
  2. helping young people in out-of-home care to thrive in adulthood
  3. organisations responding better to children and young people to keep them safe.

There are 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 Third Action Plan is reaching its conclusion, however, key initiatives will continue to be delivered to 2020 including:

The Second Action Plan: 2012–2015

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. Implementation of the second three-year action plan has been completed.

Key achievements under the Second Action Plan 2012–2015 include:

The First Action Plan: 2009–2012

The First Action Plan (2009-2012) under the National Framework was endorsed by Commonwealth, state and territory governments in 2009.  Implementation of the first three-year action plan has been completed.

The First Action Plan outlined 12 National Principles that focused action by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and the non-government sector during the first three years of the National Framework. In 2010, Ministers identified an additional National Priority, Working with Children Checks.

Key Achievements under the First Action Plan 2009-2012 include:

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