Intervening Early To Support Vulnerable Families

The Andrews Labor Government is intervening earlier so that vulnerable families and children are better supported to stay together.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos announced $29.2 million for ChildFirst and family services to work with more than 2,000 additional families at risk of becoming involved with child protection or out-of-home care at today’s Roadmap for Reform symposium.

The funding was provided in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 and incorporates $5.1 million to trial and evaluate evidence-based programs that improve family capability and child safety through a state-wide submission process to open next month.

The latest investment will enable the child and family services system to identify families at risk earlier and connect them with the right support services.

A new evidence-based strategy and grant funding opportunities will transform support for the child and family services sector, to ensure services are evidence-based, improve outcomes and provide better support to some of the state’s most vulnerable people.

Ms Mikakos also launched the Children and Families Research Strategy 2017-2019 at today’s symposium, which will develop the evidence-base and provide grant funding opportunities for the sector.

The Labor Government is providing $800,000 to improve collaboration between practitioners and researchers in the sector, and to record their own evidence-based data.

Front-line staff, researchers and policy makers will work together to support vulnerable families and children, based on evidence.

Child and family services will be able to share their knowledge about the services and approaches that they know work through the newly created Outcomes, Practice and Evidence Network (OPEN). OPEN will be sector-driven and managed by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.

The Children and Families Research Strategy 2017-2019 and information on the learning system grants can be accessed at strongfamiliessafechildren.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“We know that prevention and early intervention is the most effective way to prevent harm, abuse or neglect. That’s why we are working with families to ensure they can provide a safe and stable environment at home.”

“We are ensuring that vulnerable families are better supported much earlier so that every Victorian child has the best start in life and the best chance to reach their full potential.”

Quote attributable to CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare Deb Tsorbaris

“The Centre is pleased to see the government investing in early intervention and prevention services to work with vulnerable families. We believe this will prevent children and young people going into care.”