This week the Victorian Government released its 2014 budget, which contained some small wins for vulnerable children and families. While we were encouraged by renewed commitment to Child FIRST, the Aboriginal kinship care program, service integration and the new mother-and-baby drug withdrawal unit, more needs to be done to build a future where the most vulnerable and disadvantaged families share in Victoria’s prosperity. Moving towards the November State election, it is vital that the budget announcements are built on to address the major challenges facing families who need more support; including foster and kinship carers.
Our focus now turns to the Federal Budget, which wide speculation suggests may be tough on children and families that rely on federally funded programs and services. We will be following developments closely and share our analysis immediately after the release of the budget, and in the next CFECFW e-news.
Resi ROCKS 2014
Resi ROCKS 2014 is less than two weeks away.
This year the theme is 'Healthy Bodies & Healthy Minds: Mindfull approaches to good practice'.
Special guests include comedian Dave O'Neil, Dr Craig Hassad (Monash University), along with Robyn Miller and Monique Blom (DHS).
If you haven't registered yet, a hanful of places are still available. Download a copy of the registration form and return it asap to secure your spot.
If you have any questions, please contact Kim Somers on (03) 9614 1577.
CFECFW Regional Consultations
In the coming weeks the Centre is commencing a round of regional consultations with events in Wangaratta, BallaratWarrnambool, with a Shepparton event to be confirmed shortly for early June.
After the initial four visits we will be organising events across other regions, including a Melbourne metropolitan consultation.
Follow the links above to register for the events, or contact the office on (03) 9614 1577 if you have any questions or wish to raise a particular agenda item for your region.
Disability in Child and Family Services
On the 2nd May the Centre and OzChild hosted a forum to discuss Improving Support for Children with a Disability in Child and Family Services.
The forum features a number of wonderful presenters, including Andrea Coote MLC (Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Bernie Geary (CCYP), Kate Jenkins (Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner), Laurie Harkin (Disability Services Commissioner), Robyn Miller (DHS) and Frank Lambrick (DHS).
OzChild’s new report Children with Disabilities using Child and Family Services was launched at the forum and is available here.
In 2014 the Centre is supporting the CCYP's Debutante Ball for young people living in out-of-home care.
Details of the ball are available here along with an application form and link to subscribe to the mailing list.
If you know of any young people that may want to attend, please direct them towards the Deb Ball page.
Child and Family - Sector-wide Forum
On Wednesday 28th May the Centre is hosting a forum for everybody working with children, youth and families to come together and discuss major projects underway.
Gill Callister - Secretary of DHS - will deliver the key note address, with other speakers to be announced in the coming days.
A flyer with registration information is available here.
Royal Commission - Forum
On the 30th April 2014 the Centre held a forum for CSOs preparing to respond to the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
We would like to thank all the speakers for their time, invaluable insights into the Royal Commission and for sharing information on how their organisation is preparing to respond to the Royal Commission. More →
Betrayal of Trust - Government Response
The Victorian Government today provided an additional $10 million commitment to strengthen measures protecting children from sexual abuse.
Most of the $10 million announced today will go to a Commission for Children and Young People for a centralised reporting scheme. The Centre looks forward to working closely with the Commission and Victoria’s child and family service providers to deliver more effective protections for children at risk of sexual abuse.
Child and Family - Sector-wide Forum
Legislative amendments have been made to the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 & Education and Training Reform Act.
Nominations have opened for the 13th annual Robin Clark Memorial Awards.
The award ceremony will be held during Child Protection Week (7-13 September) to celebrate working being undertaken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.
Details of the awards and nomination information can be found here.
A Better Start for Children in OOHC
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Department of Human Services, Municipal Association of Victoria and Early Learning Association of Australia have released an agreement they say will improve opportunities for young people living in out-of-home care.