$9.1 million for ECEC part of broader $114m commitment to protect vulnerable children

$9.1 million for ECEC part of broader $114m commitment to protect vulnerable children

by Freya Lucas

April 27, 2022

The Western Australian Government will push an additional $114 million into the child protection system, including $9.1 million to be allocated to keep WA children in early childhood education safe.


Key commitments within the $114 million are: 


  • $75 million to deliver child protection services, including bolstering the workforce with additional frontline staff;
  • $23.9 million for early intervention and family support services, building on State Government initiatives to help children remain safely at home;
  • $11.1 million boost to expand the successful Target 120 program to nine additional locations across the State to increase support for at-risk youth;
  • A new Chief Practitioner to be appointed to oversee the Specialist Child Protection Unit at the Department of Communities; and, 
  • $27.7 million for early childhood education and out-of-home care. 


The funding was announced as part of WA’s 2022-23 State Budget and includes provision for 36 new child protection workers to boost capacity on the frontline.


“We have increased spending in child protection by almost 25 per cent and increased the child protection workforce by more than 20 per cent since 2017. That includes 218 full-time case workers,” said WA Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk.


“Every child deserves to grow up in a safe and loving environment – and taking children into care is always a last resort. As a Government, we recognise the best long-term strategy is to invest in initiatives that support families so their children can remain safely with them at home.”


The Government is also delivering on its commitment to implement recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, with $2.7 million for a pilot Harmful Sexual Behaviours Intervention Program.


To access the Budget in full please see here.