WA introduces Health Navigator Pilot Program to help children in care

WA introduces Health Navigator Pilot Program to help children in care

by Freya Lucas

April 14, 2022

The Western Australian Government will commit $3.5 million over the next two years to establish a program for vulnerable children who are in out-of-home care. 

 

To be trialled in Mirrabooka and South West the Health Navigator Pilot Program will help children living out of home to access health and mental health support. 

 

The drive for the program came from evidence which shows that children in care are some of the most vulnerable children in society, and may experience physical and mental health issues, increased contact with the justice system and poorer employment outcomes. 

 

“We know that early diagnosis and intervention in the early years is so crucial and that is why this initiative is so important to ensure children in care have the right supports when they need them,” WA Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk said.

 

Two health navigator staff will be employed at each site, Mirrabooka and South-West, one of whom will be an Aboriginal Health Professional.

 

The pilot program is being jointly delivered by the Department of Health and the Department of Communities, with input from stakeholders including the Aboriginal Health Council of WA, CREATE Foundation, Foster Care Association WA, Yorganop and young people with lived experience.

 

“We know that young people in the child protection system often experience significant challenges. Being healthy and resilient gives them the best chance of succeeding in other areas of their lives, such as getting a good education and employment,” Ms McGurk said.

 

“The Health Navigator Pilot Program is a great example of how collaboration and commitment across government will better meet the needs of children in care – and we hope, give them a brighter future.”

 

More information about the program is available here

 

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