The Stronger Communities Investment Unit has been established by the NSW Government to lead the cross-government strategy to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families.
We are driving this strategy through an investment approach – using data and evidence to understand, prioritise, and evaluate support for children, young people and families with the highest needs, both now and into the future.
We are delivering the NSW Government’s landmark reform, Their Futures Matter – established in response to the 2015 Independent Review of Out of Home Care (Tune Review).
The 2015 Independent Review of Out of Home Care, led by David Tune AO PSM, examined the state of out of home care in NSW. The review found the system to be ineffective and unsustainable, failing to improve long-term outcomes for children or to arrest the devastating cycles of intergenerational abuse and neglect. Outcomes are particularly poor for Aboriginal children, young people and families.
The review outlined a vision for a whole-of-system reform to deliver improved outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and families. This recommendation was approved by Cabinet in August 2016, and led to the establishment of Their Futures Matter.
Their Futures Matter
In 2016, the NSW Government established the landmark Their Futures Matter reform to deliver improved life outcomes for vulnerable children and families.
The reform has been led by the Their Futures Matter Implementation Unit (now the Stronger Communities Investment Unit) and a cross-government Implementation Board.
Delivering on the Tune Review
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’.
Stronger Communities Investment Unit
On Friday, 5 July 2019, The Hon. Gareth Ward, Minister for Families, Communities, and Disability Services, announced the transition of the Their Futures Matter Implementation Unit to the newly established NSW Stronger Communities Investment Unit – Their Futures Matter.
This investment unit is spearheading a future system that is more child and family focused, easier to navigate and able to bring together services from across government portfolios.
We are continuing to implement the key priorities of the Their Futures Matter reform:
- An investment approach that aligns and directs effort and funding towards where we can make the biggest difference, as early as possible.
- Strategic commissioning to design and evaluate holistic solutions that achieve long-term outcomes.
- System Transformation in pursuit of a vision that all children, young people and families can access and connect with timely supports to improve outcomes across all areas of safety, health and wellbeing.