Michael Coutts-Trotter is the head of Family & Community Services and took time out to visit Pathfinders in Armidale recently with their Patron, The Hon. James Wood.
Mr Coutts-Trotter’s visit was a significant occasion for the Pathfinders team where they were able to showcase their work with vulnerable young people and families. Mr Coutts-Trotter was impressed with the holistic service as a whole that Pathfinders delivers.
Joe Craigie, Pathfinders Indigenous Strategy and Engagement Manager said, ‘After hearing that our client base was 68-70% indigenous, and that Pathfinders was initiating an Aboriginal advisory group in the area, Michael said he recognised our good work and was keen to support indigenous young people.’
The Hon. James Wood accompanied Mr Coutts-Trotter on his visit. Mr Wood is well known for his commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW. Mr Wood was commissioned to conduct the inquiry to determine what changes within the child protection system are required to cope with future levels of demand. In November 2008, he released the Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW. The inquiry reported on what changes were required within the child protection system to improve the safety of children and families in NSW. Keep Them Safe is the NSW Government’s response to the Wood Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW.
Both gentlemen were able to tour Pathfinders Tilbuster Station working farm for young people. Mr Coutts Trotter tweeting @MCT_DG ‘Full day in Armidale with FACS colleagues and NGO partners including Pathfinders and Clontarf Academy. Learned lots and got a 10kg pumpkin.’
The Family Referral Service team from the Mid North Coast and New England had the opportunity to sit down with Mr Wood to discuss matters around child protection and related issues.