The Andrews Labor Government is boosting support for vulnerable families at risk of becoming involved with child protection or out-of-home care.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos today announced a further $11.2 million over two years for evidence-based, innovative programs that support vulnerable families.
The funding continues nine programs being trialled by seven community organisations, including:
- SafeCare – to be delivered in the East Gippsland and Bayside Peninsula regions – which provides parents with children aged up to 5 with at-home parent training sessions to reduce the risk of child maltreatment
- Australian-first Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Psych – to be delivered in West Melbourne and the Barwon region – which provides intensive at-home treatment and 24/7 crisis response targeting children aged 9-15 who are at risk of removal or in care due to dysfunction, trauma or other issues
- Functional Family Therapy – to be delivered in the Loddon region – which is aimed at families with kids aged up to 17 where there has been child protection involvement
- Promoting First Relationships – to be delivered in North East Melbourne – which is a 10-week relationship building program aimed at increasing a parent or caregiver’s awareness of their child’s needs
The trials will be evaluated, and the experiences and knowledge gathered through them shared with the community sector through the Outcomes, Practice and Evidence Network (OPEN) – led by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare. OPEN will also provide implementation support to help embed these evidence-based approaches.
The pilot programs are helping to deliver on the Labor Government’s Roadmap for Reform by shifting the focus from crisis response to early intervention and prevention, and build on the $6.1 million announced in January 2018 for evidence-based trials.
A record $858.6 million was delivered in this year’s child protection Budget to further improve outcomes for Victorian children and families in need.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“Every child deserves to be, and feel, safe. We know these programs improve the lives of vulnerable children and their families, and I can’t think of anything more important than that.”
“Every parent needs support at some stage, so it’s crucial we get in early to support those in need with programs that are backed by experts and those who work in the field.”
Quote attributable to Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare CEO Deb Tsorbaris
“We have a responsibility to look after every Victorian child – our future depends on it. That’s why this support from the state government is so welcome; supporting children in need, and funding what we know will deliver better results.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020