CAFFSA Policy and Advocacy Platform

A Way Forward 2021 – 2025 

CAFFSA is a well-known South Australian peak body amongst its membership base. In guiding the policy and advocacy work of the organisation, CAFFSA refers to this Policy and Advocacy Platform to identify those issues that we have the expertise and experience to speak to and to influence.

The five areas of CAFFSA’s policy and advocacy focus are:

  • Children and Young People
  • Families
  • Community
  • Services/Sector
  • Government and System

Read the full version of the CAFFSA Policy and Advocacy Platform: CAFFSA POLICY PLATFORM REFRESH

Election and Standing Policies

CAFFSA’s Board Chair, CEO and Policy and Advocacy Lead met with the previous Minister for Child Protection, the then Hon Rachael Sanderson MP in late December 2021 to discuss our six policies for the 2022 South Australian election. We were also invited to attend a small online roundtable to broadly discuss the policy settings and solutions that are needed to improve outcomes for children in care, hosted by the Hon Katrine Hildyard MP in March this year.

It is noted that three of the six CAFFSA Election Policies developed in conjunction with members (workforce development, funding community visitors, and more adequately meeting the needs of young people leaving care until they are aged 21) were all included in the current Labor Government’s platform.


CAFFSA proudly supports and auspices the following campaigns

Family Matters 

Family Matters SA

Child and Family Focus SA is the auspicing body of the Family Matters Campaign in South Australia.

Family Matters is Australia’s national campaign to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children grow up safe and cared for surrounded by their own family, community and culture.

Despite numerous legal and policy frameworks protecting the cultural rights of Indigenous children, the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care is almost ten times that of other children and continues to grow.

When the ground-breaking Bringing Them Home report into the Stolen Generations was released in 1997, Australia was shocked to learn that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children represented one in every five children living in out-of-home care. Today – nearly 20 years later – they are one in every three.

The causes of over representation are complex, including the legacy of past policies of forced removal, intergenerational effects of separations from family and culture, poor socio‐economic status and perceptions arising from cultural differences in child‐rearing practices.

Each year, the Family Matters campaign releases its annual report. In 2020, this report once again highlighted alarming results on the state of child protection in Australia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and suggests ways forward to turn this around.

To find out more about Family Matter clcik HERE

Australian Children Safety Alliance

Child and Family Focus SA is the auspicing body of the Australian Children’s Safety Alliance (ACSA).

ACSA is comprised of representatives of CAFFSA member organisations in order to facilitate a collaborative partnership to advance, promote and implement domestic violence informed approaches to addressing the safety of women, protection of children and interventions with perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse.

The aims of the Australian Children’s Safety Alliance are to:

Provide leadership in policy and practice development for agencies, practitioners and child protections systems;
Act as a public voice for the safety of all women and children experiencing domestic violence and abuse;
Make visible and accountable the behaviour of perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse;
Identify opportunities to measure and evaluate the impact of the ‘Safe and Together’ Model and other domestic violence informed approaches in South Australia;
Proactively identify and champion models of practice that are culturally responsive, culturally valid and endorsed by Aboriginal members, stakeholders and advisory groups such as the Family Matters Working Group in South Australia.
ACSA is currently chaired by Michael Hawke, Anglicare SA.

To find out more about ACSA go to the ACSA page

CAFFSA Attended and Represented Meetings

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SACOSS Policy Council

The SACOSS Policy Council is nominated from SACOSS’s membership. Its aims are to develop policies relevant to the sector as well as to help plan and develop key areas of social policy development. Policy Council members hold office for two year terms and are elected in different categories, as set out in the SACOSS Constitution.

SA Health Policy Advisory Committee 

The SA Health Statewide Child Protection and Policy Stakeholder Advisory Committee (Stakeholder Advisory Committee) forms part of a governance structure that sits under the SA Health Child Protection and Policy Board (the Board) which oversees and is responsible for all matters relating to child protection within the Health portfolio.

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee provides advice to the SA Health Statewide Child Protection Services Model of Care Steering Committee (the Steering Committee) to assist its deliberations in the co-design a new Statewide service model for SA Health’s three tertiary Child Protection Services (CPS) units in the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN), Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) and Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN).

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee also provides advice on broader matters relating to child protection in SA Health such as legislation, regulations, policy, protocols and inter-agency service design, however the section of the governance structure responsible for making recommendations on these broader child protection matters is yet to be determined.

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee consists of agencies that provide services that are ancillary or feed into South Australia’s child protection system, as well as representatives of children and young people with lived experience of child protection services.

Care Concerns Assessment Panel 

Care Concern Assessment Panel (CCAP)
CAFFSA is represented on DCP’s CCAP which meets weekly and also considers out-of-session care concerns on a case-by-case basis.

A care concern referral (CCR) occurs when a child or young person who is in out of home care is allegedly abused or neglected or is at significant risk of being abused or neglected; or there is allegedly a deficit in the standard of care provided to the child; and the concerns relate to the care provided by a DCP employee or volunteer, an out-of-home care employee or volunteer, a foster carer, a kinship carer, a specific child only carer, family day care (guardianship) carers or agency carers.

For more information go to:

Carer Recruitment and Retention Taskforce 

Conviened by DCP in May 2011, the Carer Recruitment and Retention Taskforce has been formed to:

  • Aspire to achieve equal to or better than the national figure (93.1% at 30 June 2018) for percentage of children in out of home care who are in a family-based care placement
    − 30 June 2018 85 per cent of children in family based care in SA
    − 30 June 2020 90 per cent of children in family based care in SA
  • Increase family based care by an additional 300 carers by the end of 2020
  • Increase the retention of carers and decrease the factors that impact on carer retention
  • Ensure effective communication of the activities and outcomes undertaken by the Taskforce and working groups to improve family based care for children and young