Settlement Services International welcomes the contribution the NSW Government is to make in support of vulnerable children, families, disability services and multiculturalism, according to the 2018–19 NSW State Budget delivered on June 19 by NSW Treasurer, the Hon Dominic Perrottet MP.
SSI welcomes the NSW government’s investment of $3 billion in disability services in 2018–2019, as its contribution during the transition to full operation of the NDIS in NSW.
In particular, SSI congratulates the government on its continued funding of the important Ability Links program during the transition, as this program has been extremely successful in supporting culturally diverse people with disability.
SSI has delivered Ability Links in areas with culturally diverse populations, with strong employment outcomes, and 64% of SSI Ability Links individual outcomes were with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) participants.
SSI also welcomes the continued funding of disability advocacy services, which are important to help people get supports through the NDIS. SSI looks forward to continuing its collaboration with the NSW government in delivering services to people with disability in NSW, and helping culturally diverse communities access disability supports.
SSI welcomes the NSW Government’s investment in children and families and was pleased to see a $200 million investment in early childhood education and care (ECEC).
Access to high quality ECEC has significant benefits for our children, setting a strong foundation for their future learning at school and beyond. It also plays a crucial role in early intervention and ensuring vulnerable children and families are connected and supported right from the start.
Unfortunately, we know that for many CALD families access is low and too many of our children are missing out. It is important to ensure that this increase in spending is reaching our families and that we are developing avenues to support equity of access.
SSI welcomes the NSW government’s commitment of funding for 100 new case workers to work with vulnerable young people and the child protection system to support better safety, permanency and wellbeing outcomes for children, young people and their families.
In particular, the support to out-of-home care, permanency support, and support to high-needs children in out-of-home care is commended as SSI has 150 children in its Multicultural Foster Care program and it sees their needs on a daily basis.
SSI acknowledges and welcomes the focus on families in general as we are aware that many of the families from CALD backgrounds are struggling. It is hoped that matters raised in the Tune Review are addressed through this budget and that early intervention across the continuum of care remains a high priority.
SSI is pleased that Multicultural NSW has received additional funding for its grants program administered through the Department of Premier’s and Cabinet for community initiatives as it allows communities to foster a sense of belonging and feeling valued for their contribution to a diverse society.
Among 2018-19 NSW Budget highlights were:
- $12.4 million to engage with communities, administer community projects, partnerships and grants, and provide policy advice
- $10 million to provide interpreting and translation services in more than 100 languages and dialects