The focus of child protection in Victoria will shift from crisis response to prevention and early intervention, under a new package of measures announced today by the Andrews Labor Government.
The package includes increased in-home support services for vulnerable families, extra child protection workers, more culturally-sensitive support for Aboriginal children, and a boost to the number of foster and kinship carers.
These $168 million dollars in the 2016/17 Victorian Budget for children and family services also forms part of the Labor Government’s initial response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence,
The Roadmap for Reform: strong families, safe children includes once-in-a-generation changes designed to ensure all Victorian families are as safe as possible and that vulnerable children are fully supported.
This investment includes:
- $86.44 million to respond to urgent Royal Commission recommendations to help meet demand for family services, establish a new in-home early childhood support service, support foster carers, improve maternal and child health services for Aboriginal families and boost the child protection workforce.
- $34.16 million to increase the number of foster and kinship carers
- $35.9 million to transform residential care into a treatment model that focuses on early intervention to help children recover from abuse, neglect and family violence.
- $11.7 million to upgrade residential care facilities across the state.
Despite the tremendous efforts of front-line workers and service delivery organisations, numerous inquiries have shown there is still much more to do to keep children safe and well.
The Roadmap for Reform focuses on prevention, early intervention, and creating services that are co-ordinated and work together to meet the needs of vulnerable families and children.
The Roadmap for Reform also recognises the importance of taking action to ensure self-determination for Aboriginal communities in the care of their children and families, and supports families and children to be involved in decision making about the services and supports they need.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“The Roadmap for Reform shifts our focus from responding to crisis, to prevention and early intervention.”
“Protecting children, and supporting families and carers as early as possible, gives kids the best chance to grow up healthier, form positive relationships, and lead better lives.”
“The Roadmap to Reform is a once-in-a-generation chance to get this right for children and families.”