WSCF attended the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) 2017-2018 Budget Briefing this week, which unpacked the Budget that was handed down in June, outlining a $7 billion spend for the sector in the next financial year – an increase of $459 million (7.1 %) in funding from the previous year’s budget.

The Department iterated a commitment to outcome-based objectives, aligning with the Premier’s and State priorities, which emphasize reducing risk and increasing benefits on the community, including:

Protecting kids: Decrease percentage re-reported at risk of significant harm by 15%

Reducing youth homelessness by 10%

Reducing domestic violence re-offending within 12 months by 5%

Creating sustainable social housing

NDIS transition

2017-2018 Budget spend – highlights

  • $1.9 billion on child protection and out-of-home care services.
  • $2 billion on accommodation and other supports for people with disability to assist them to live with dignity in their communities.
  • $1.1 billion on social housing services and homelessness assistance.
  • $1.4 billion on supporting people with disability to participate socially and economically in their community.

Some new initiatives include:

  • Homelessness – $12 million to expand the Premier’s Youth Homelessness Initiative; an additional $20 million over four years to provide more transitional accommodation and support packages for rough sleepers.
  • Child protection – new funding for additional caseworkers and casework support
  • Early intervention – $148 million over four years in new spending to support children with high needs in out-of-home care.
  • Domestic and family violence – $10 million for pilot behaviour change interventions for high risk offenders.
  • Sexual assault prevention and response – $10 million in new funding for NSW Health to strengthen responses for adult and child victims of sexual assault and other violence, abuse and neglect
  • Multiculturalism – $2.4 million over four years in new spending to establish a Settlement Unit in MNSW to oversee and coordinate our responsibility for refugee resettlement

The full FACS Budget breakdown and objectives are available to view here.