Young Victorians will have more of a say in designing the system that affects them most, with the establishment of Victoria’s first Child Protection Youth Advisory Group.
Minister for Child Protection Luke Donnellan attended the inaugural meeting this week, which will now occur bi-monthly and has been set up so young people in the Child Protection system can have their voices heard directly by government.
The Ministerial Youth Advisory Group (MYAG) was established in partnership with The CREATE Foundation – the peak body representing children and young people with an out-of-home care experience.
CREATE helped select and support about fifteen young people, aged 14 to 22 years, to attend and participate. Members come from metropolitan and regional areas, as well as culturally-diverse backgrounds, and will represent the views of young people with similar experiences across Victoria.
Child and young person advocate Natasha Anderson will co-chair the meeting with Minister Donnellan. Among her achievements, Ms Anderson has been involved in Berry Street’s Y-Change program for youth leadership and social change and is a Roadmap Implementation Ministerial Advisory Group member.
The group will support the Labor Government’s landmark Roadmap for Reform policy agenda, which is transforming the child and family system from crisis response to early intervention and prevention, enabling all children to reach their full potential.
Key achievements of the Roadmap for Reform so far include a new model for kinship care, supported by $116 million in the Victorian Budget 2019-20 for kinship care and our $11 million Home Stretch program, extending the age of leaving care from 18 years to 21 years.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Child Protection Luke Donnellan
“It’s vital we learn from the experiences of Victorians in the child protection system and I look forward to hearing from these remarkable young people on how we can improve things for them.”
“The group will provide invaluable advice as we progress in transforming the child protection system to better help young people reach their full potential.”
Quotes attributable to Ministerial Youth Advisory Group Co-chair Natasha Anderson
“I’m pleased to be included in the Victorian Government’s first Ministerial Youth Advisory Group and look forward to sharing my experiences and learnings to help deliver the best services and supports for children in care.”
“It’s incredibly important to have young people’s voices represented and use our own experience to advocate for a better care system.”