A delegation of child welfare experts from the United States of America have been in Victoria this week to share knowledge on how to improve our children and families’ welfare system.
Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, met with representatives from the Annie E Casey Foundation who shared their experience of best-practice child welfare and witnessed first-hand the Andrews Labor Government’s work to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families.
Representatives spent four days in Victoria presenting their stories of success, discussing strategies to transform child and family welfare systems, meeting with sector representatives and visiting local services.
The Annie E Casey Foundation is a philanthropic organisation based in Baltimore, focussed on developing a brighter future for children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes.
The foundation works throughout the United States to help create innovative, cost-effective responses to the issues that negatively affect children. They have a focus on child welfare and youth justice systems.
The challenges faced in Victoria to support the needs of vulnerable children and families are common around the world: that is, unprecedented demand resulting in crisis-driven responses.
The Labor Government is working to reform Victoria’s children and families’ services sector to focus more effectively on prevention and early intervention.
For those children who need to be removed from their family’s care, the goal is to work intensively with the children and their families so they can be safely returned home in a short timeframe.
The goal is to transform the system, making it a more responsive, timely, effective and connected service. The system should meet the needs of children and young people throughout different stages of their lives.
This fits with the Family Violence Royal Commission recommending a greater focus on early intervention.
The Labor Government will seek to learn from other jurisdictions and other countries and to share our experiences and knowledge.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“The Andrews Labor Government wants to create a more responsive and connected system that improves the lives of vulnerable children and families in Victoria.”
“I am grateful to the representatives from the Annie E Casey Foundation for taking time to share their knowledge with us and to see first-hand the work we are doing to support families and children in Victoria.”
“I hope their visit to Victoria delivers on these aims and that our collaboration continues to strengthen in the years ahead.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020