Is the child protection system failing New South Wales’ children?


A previously secret report by former senior public servant David Tune has been released, only released after the government surrendered to the demands of the upper house. The report looks into NSW’s ‘ineffective and and unsustainable’ child protection system and warns that it is “crisis-driven”, fails the most vulnerable families and does not stop entrenched neglect. It also says the troubled system does not improve the long-term outcomes for children, especially Aboriginal children. The government repeatedly refused to release Mr Tune’s report, claiming it was cabinet in confidence.

The number of children in out-of-home care (OOHC) has doubled in 10 years, there has been a steady growth in the number of children entering OOHC care since 2013, and children are staying there longer. Also, nothing has been done to “arrest the devastating cycles of intergenerational abuse and neglect”.

Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward said the government was implementing the recommendations in the Tune report and there had been a “record level of investment” in the system, and for the first time in a decade the number of children entering care in NSW has fallen.

However, Labor’s spokeswoman for family and community services, Tanya Mihailuk, said Ms Goward should be stood aside over her refusal to release a taxpayer-funded report.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:



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