Almost 70 new child protection officers are ready to begin work to keep vulnerable kids safe, as part of a record recruitment drive by the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos has today attended a graduation ceremony at Parliament House to welcome the latest new recruits – 69 men and women who have successfully completed the 2018 Child Protection Vacation Employment Program.
Their graduation – ahead of Child Protection Week which begins on 2 September – means the Labor Government is on track to deliver 450 new child protection workers – as promised in 2017 – which is the largest expansion of the workforce in Victoria’s history.
In total, some 610 new child protection positions have been funded in the last four years – an increase of 43 per cent – to provide more support for children suffering abuse or neglect.
The 12-week paid Vacation Employment Program offers tertiary students the opportunity to receive hands-on experience in DHHS child protection offices and gain employment.
The new workers – including graduates and experienced local, interstate and overseas professionals – will be placed around the state based on workload demand.
There are now more than 1,900 practitioners working with vulnerable children and young people across the state.
The Labor Government invested an unprecedented $858.6 million through the Victorian Budget 2018/2019 to continue the transformation of Victoria’s children and family services system through Roadmap for Reform and the move from crisis response to prevention and early intervention.
It includes $225.5 million for the expansion of the child protection workforce.
New investment in early years and family services under the Labor Government means an additional 3,000 families are receiving early intervention and prevention support, preventing more children from entering the child protection system.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“We know that to protect children you have to have the necessary resources to do this – that’s why we are funding the biggest ever expansion of our child protection workforce.”
“That’s in stark contrast to the previous Liberal Government whose savage cuts put hundreds of DHHS staff out of a job and left our child protection workforce under immense pressure.”
“Only a Labor Government will support these vital services to keep kids and families safe.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020