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$231 million to rebuild the foster care system and drive disability inclusion

The NSW Government’s 2024-25 Budget supports the continued work of building a better foster care system, to ensure more children can grow up in safe and loving homes.

$224 million will better support the 14,000 children and young people in NSW who cannot live safely at home with their families.

This funding supports the Government's to:

  • expand the Government’s role as a foster care provider to move vulnerable kids out of emergency accommodation

  • increase the recruitment of urgently needed, longer-term foster carers.

These next steps expand on the work being done by non-government providers by boosting the availability and number of foster care placements.

And they build on the work already done, including a review underway now to examine the system’s overreliance on emergency accommodation and how taxpayer money is being spent.

Already, the NSW Government has:

  • Reduced the number of children in High-Cost Emergency Accommodation by 71 in three months

  • Found safe homes for 670 children by recruiting 180 emergency foster carers

  • Established the Ministerial Aboriginal Partnership Group to oversee reform measures

  • And paved the way to recruit and retain child protection workers by scrapping the former Government’s unfair wages cap.

Hundreds of children were left housed in emergency accommodation such as hotels, motels and caravan parks.

In the past three years alone, that emergency accommodation cost taxpayers $860 million.

This Budget is focused on delivering a better outcome for vulnerable children and families who have been paying the biggest price.

By rebuilding and reforming the foster care system, the NSW Government is laying the foundation for families in the future to get more support to stay safely together.

At the same time, the NSW Government is moving ahead with reform of the disability sector.

A new Disability Reform Taskforce, led by The Cabinet Office and the Department of Communities and Justice, will be established to lead the Government’s reform priorities.

The 2024-25 Budget provides $7.1 million for the Taskforce to respond to recommendations of the Disability Royal Commission and to lead State reforms in the NDIS.

Together, this is part of the NSW Government’s plan to build better, stronger communities for NSW.

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