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Being in remote locations does not exclude our young people from being exposed to risks in the home. This year, a new initiative by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) called the Mobile Child Protection Unit, will allow caseworkers to provide a faster, more consistent response to child protection reports.

Numbers from FACS reveal that children and young people living out west are fourth at risk out of 15 regions. Due to the isolation of many households and communities in the area, it is a challenge for the 146 caseworkers to complete face-to-face assessments and respond to these vulnerable young people.

There are many great programs designed to overcome the burden faced by regional and remote communities such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and now FACS has initiated a trial Mobile Child Protection Unit to strengthen its existing services. It allows a team of six caseworkers to provide increased support to the number of children who receive face-to-face visits.

This program will ensure that a greater number of skilled and experienced caseworkers are present in remote communities, allowing more time to engage families and the broader community, particularly in the state’s west where the needs are higher.  

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