Protecting our children
Child protection services in the region
We have a number of child protection services operating across our region, including:
- Western Child Wellbeing Unit
- Child Protection Counselling Service
- Rural New Street Program
- Out of Home Care – Health Pathway Program
- Child Wellbeing Coordinator
You might also like to visit the following websites for more information on child protection:
An Australian parenting website with practical child health and parenting information for children aged 0-15 years.
A charity providing free services to help prevent and treat child abuse and neglect.
A child protection advocacy organisation, who work to empower, educate and protect in order to make Australia the safest country in the world to raise children.
The National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect in Australia.
The Western Child Wellbeing Unit (CWU) is based in Dubbo and provides child wellbeing and child protection telephone advice to Health Workers across NSW Health, Affiliated Health Services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. The primary role of the CWU is to provide support to Health staff on their safety, welfare and wellbeing concerns for children and young people.
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Referral to Child Protection Counselling Services is made through Family and Community Services, Joint Investigative Response Team (JIRT), or from the Children’s Court. The service provides specialist counselling and support to children, young people, parents and carers where there has been substantiated physical/emotional abuse, domestic violence or neglect. This specialised service aims to provide a comprehensive range of services that enhances the health and wellbeing of
children, young people and their families and caregivers and helps to reduce the occurrence and impact of abuse and neglect. We are uniquely placed to support communities and promote the development of a safe and healthy environment
for all children and young people.
Child Protection Counsellors are based in Bourke, Dubbo, Orange, Bathurst, Mudgee and Forbes Community Health Centres. They provide long term interventions specialising in complex developmental trauma.
Get in touch with our Community Health Centres using our facility listing map to learn more about our Child Protection Counselling Services.
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Rural New Street Western is a specialised counselling service that works with children and young people (10 to 17 years) who have engaged in sexually harmful behaviour, and their families/carers.
The service operates from a free standing cottage in Dubbo and currently provides counselling services to Dubbo and outreaches to other towns as required. Rural New Street Western also offers consultation/training on sexual harm by children and young people to health colleagues and to interagency partners.
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Out of Home Care – Health Pathway Program
The Out of Home Care Health Pathway Program aims to improve health outcomes for children and young people in Out of Home Care. The ‘Model Health Pathway for the Comprehensive Health and Developmental Health Assessments for All Children and Young People Entering OOHC’, also known as the ‘Health Pathway’, underpins the work we do, which includes health assessment, planning, targeted service intervention, review and monitoring.
Partners and stakeholders in the Health Pathway Program include children and young people, carers, parents, health providers, carers, and children and young people’s caseworkers from government and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs).
The program supports continuity of care with an identified health provider, and facilitates transfer to other Out of Home Care Health Pathway Programs across NSW when children and young people move from this Health District.
Referrals to the Out of Home Care Health Pathway Program are made by the Department of Family and Community Services. Currently, children and young people who entered statutory care after 1 July 2010 are eligible for referral.
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The role of the Child Wellbeing Coordinator is to assist Local Health Districts implement reforms to child protection under the ‘Keep Them Safe’ framework; and within this, to act as a link between Child Wellbeing Units and Local Health Districts.
Child Wellbeing Coordinators consult with health workers and community partner agencies providing advice and education regarding child protection related matters.