The Andrews Labor Government is developing a brand new approach to working with local communities to make life better for vulnerable children and their families.
Community Partnerships is a place-based initiative that will bring together community, government and service providers to tackle childhood vulnerability and create environments where all children and families can thrive.
Operating the Partnerships out of the community means we can make the most out of local knowledge and tailor strategies to best suit their particular issues.
The Partnerships could address a variety of issues, such as building community resilience, boosting social participation, empowering parents, improving access to council or government services and promoting Aboriginal self-determination.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos today opened the tender process to a lead organisation, who will drive the initial rollout of the Partnerships, with not-for-profits, co-operatives and community organisations all eligible to apply.
Once appointed, their first task will be to work with government and the community to identify the locations of the four Community Partnerships.
An expression of interest process will then commence in early 2019 for communities interested in hosting one of the Partnerships. Each will be made up of government and community representatives, including local people, service providers, community groups and businesses.
Over four years, the chosen Community Partnerships will benefit from almost $20 million in new investment to make the initiative a success – including up to $10.4 million for the employment of Community Partnership workers within each community.
The nature and role of these new workers will be determined by the communities themselves through a process of engagement and consultation led by each partnership.
This investment adds to the $858.6 million already provided by the Labor Government in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 to continue Roadmap for Reform, which seeks to shift the child protection system from crisis response to prevention and early intervention. For more information, visit vic.gov.au/news/community-partnerships.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“We’re listening to families and communities about the things that will make a difference in their lives – and about the vital role that everyone must play to make a community a great place to raise a child.”
“I strongly encourage communities across Victoria to start thinking now about whether they might be interested in participating in this exciting new initiative.”