Select Committee into Child Development Services Report Released

April 22, 2024

Child development services in Western Australia: Valuing our children and their needs. This report makes a series of recommendations on strategies to improve the accessibility and sustainability of the child development service (CDS) system.

The Committee has made 55 findings and 57 recommendations relating to a number of issues including:

  • the development and implementation of a statewide electronic medical record system and the incorporation of a single, online referral system;
  • how CDS can interact more effectively with other government and non-government organisations, including the Department of Education;
  • collaborating with the Commonwealth Government and health professional colleges to develop care pathways for ADHD that include an expanded range of health practitioners who can assess and diagnose the disorder and treat children with the disorder, particularly general practitioners and nurse practitioners;
  • the role of child health nurses and the benefits of a more integrated child development system that involves a range of community services; and
  • the need to maximise the efficiency and the continued availability of a future CDS workforce. This includes the State Government collaborating with the Commonwealth Government, universities and health professional training providers to increase both university places for allied health, nursing and medical courses and practical training placements for these university students and graduates.

10 minority recommendations including that the State Government:

  • commence a trial of an expanded model of school-based allied health services immediately;
  • increase the number of language development centres and outreach services;
  • identify opportunities to improve its collaboration and partnership with not-for-profit health service providers when developing plans to improve access to child development services particularly in areas where there is limited access to these services; and
  • establish more Child and Parent Centres across the State and expand primary and secondary-level child development services at existing centres.

Donna Faragher recommends the following “The State Government provide the funding required to give effect to the recommendations made by this Committee, in its interim report and this final report, as well as the minority recommendations. This will ensure the reforms needed to reduce unacceptably long waiting times and expand service provision are delivered for the benefit of children in Western Australia”.

We want to acknowledge the work of Donna Faragher and wish her the best in her future endeavors. To read the report including its findings, click the link below.