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The NSW Stronger Communities Investment Unit (SCIU) is delivering the NSW Government’s landmark reform, Their Futures Matter. We are part of the Strategy, Policy and Commissioning Division in the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ).

Their Futures Matter aims to enable all children, young people and families to reach their potential. Through this reform, we want to improve outcomes for children, young people and families experiencing vulnerability.

An investment approach to achieve lasting change

Our investment approach is spearheading a future system that is:

  • more child and family focused
  • easier to navigate
  • able to bring together services from across government portfolios.

We are bringing together data and evidence to deliver a well-coordinated and integrated service system that responds to needs early and achieves lasting change.

Investment is being directed to strategies that:

  • provide children with the best start
  • keep families together
  • reduce the number of children entering out-of-home care, where appropriate
  • prevent escalating risk.

Working in partnership across the whole social support system

We work in partnership with human service agencies to design and evaluate strategies that support children and families to reach their goals and improve their outcomes.

We focus on prevention and early intervention across the whole social support system. We are driving change across government and improving how NSW looks after its most vulnerable people.

SCIU holds responsibility for this landmark reform. We are governed by the Their Futures Matter Implementation Board, chaired by DCJ Secretary Michael Coutts-Trotter, with broad representation from across government:

  • Gary Groves, Executive Director SCIU, DCJ
  • Nigel Lyons, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Health
  • Georgina Harrison, Deputy Secretary, Education
  • Tony Cooke, A/Assistant Commissioner, NSW Police
  • Simone Walker, Deputy Secretary, DCJ
  • Amy Brown, Deputy Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • Janet Schorer, Children’s Guardian, Office of the Children’s Guardian
  • San Midha, Deputy Secretary, Treasury.

Over the next few months, our Board will transition to the NSW Stronger Communities Investment Coalition. The Coalition will include senior government representatives, independent subject matter experts and non-government providers to drive effort and provide the NSW Government with expert advice and knowledge.

Our values

In driving forward our ambitious agenda, we have identified five values to be key to achieving success:

  • Listen & Learn: we build understanding by sharing information and learning from others.
  • Always Accountable: we value the ability of our organisation to work diligently and honour our commitments.
  • Continuously Collaborating: we work together to achieve shared goals.
  • Challenge & Change: we challenge our own ways of thinking to improve the way we work.
  • People at the Centre: we place the needs of children and families at the centre of the work we do.

Our progress

We are continuing to deliver on the NSW Government’s landmark reform, Their Futures Matter – established in response to the 2015 Independent Review of Out of Home Care.

In the first three years of reform, we have made strong progress on each of the recommendations of the Tune Review:

  • develop and implement an investment and commissioning approach to direct funding, effort and resources to those with the greatest needs
  • establish a cross-agency dataset and investment model which provide a full picture of total system expenditure for vulnerable children and families
  • develop a framework to monitor and evaluate outcomes for vulnerable children and families across government
  • expand investment in intensive family preservation and restoration services using the evidence based models MST-CAN and FFT-CW
  • develop a trauma treatment service for children in OOHC, and new investment in sustaining OOHC placements to improve stability for children
  • introduce personalised support packages for identified cohorts of vulnerable children and their families
  • improve planning and support for young people transitioning to adulthood from the OOHC system
  • increase the evidence base for interventions that work for Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities
  • redesign the intake, assessment and referral ‘access system’.

Read more about our story.