Vulnerable people will be better protected and supported by the NSW Government as part of a $17.7 billion investment in the Stronger Communities cluster, which will include helping people with disability, children and older people lead safe and fulfilling lives.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the 2019-20 NSW Budget will focus on breaking the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage across the state.

“The NSW Government is committed to addressing complex social issues which have been in the too hard basket for too long,” Mr Ward said.

“This Budget is responding to the needs of the most vulnerable people in our state by empowering them to reach their full potential in a truly inclusive way.”

Budget highlights include $13.9 million over four years to establish an Ageing and Disability Commissioner to better protect older people and adults with a disability. The Commissioner will be armed with strong powers to investigate allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The NSW Government will continue its commitment to the National Disability Insurance Scheme with an investment of $3.3 billion in 2019-20 to support people participating in the scheme.

The Budget also includes funding of $1 billion to continue the Government’s commitment to tackle homelessness through assertive outreach and early intervention, as well as in social and affordable housing programs for families and individuals in need.

The Budget will also provide $16.8 million in 2019-20 to support the delivery of child protection services through the continuation of funding for 45 Child Protection Helpline workers and for 66 case support workers.

Providing permanency for children in out of home care will also be a focus, with a $9.4 million commitment in 2019-20 for the Adoption Taskforce.

“NSW continues to lead the way when it comes to adoption and guardianship and the investment in this Budget will make sure we continue to deliver great outcomes,” Mr Ward said.

The Stronger Communities cluster leads prevention and early intervention initiatives across NSW to empower families and communities to thrive.