The Andrews Labor Government has provided a $1 million boost to address urgent maintenance jobs in residential care units.
Property assessments and spot audits introduced this year highlighted a backlog of fittings and equipment that needed repair.
Victoria’s residential care units provide a temporary home for around 500 vulnerable children and young people who are not able to live with their family.
The audits also highlighted improvements that could be made to how maintenance jobs were reported.
The Department of Health and Human Services will streamline this process by providing a centralised call centre number that can be used by providers and department staff to report maintenance issues.
The $1 million blitz will prioritise the areas and issues most in need of repair to be addressed first.
This builds on the 2015-16 Victorian Budget which boosted funding for child protection and family services by 17 per cent, delivering an extra $257 million to strengthen and improve the system and relieve pressures.
This included $7.5 million to refurbish and renovate out-of-home care properties, and more than $31 million to improve financial support for foster and kinship carers.
Recently the Government announced the Roadmap for Reform: Strong Families, Safe Children to review the entire child protection and family services system from the ground up and drive long term reform.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“This investment builds on the steps we are taking to reform the system to improve and strengthen the quality of support for Victoria’s vulnerable children and young people, particularly those in residential care.”
“Our first priority is placing children into home-based care, but this is not always possible. Property improvements and simpler maintenance reporting will lift the standard of accommodation for children and young people in residential care.”
“There is no quick fix, but the Andrews Labor Government has started to reform child protection and family services from day one – now it is undertaking a review of the system from the ground up to strengthen and improve it long term.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020