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Centre e-news – October

7 November 2013

Community Sector Reform

It has been another massive month for the Centre and wider child and family sector, with Professor Shergold’s final Service Sector Reform report released last week.

This report, along with the new Community Sector Reform Council that was announced at the launch, promises to lead major changes to the way we deliver services to vulnerable and disadvantaged children and families across Victoria.

There have been a number of exciting recommendations made in the report, which the Centre looks forward to working with our membership and government to implement over the months and years ahead.

In October the Centre – together with the Foster Care Association of Victoria – relaunched the Foster Care Network to address some of the major issues within the Victorian system. This group of representatives from agencies across Victoria has identified the main barriers faced in delivering care, and is now working together to form collective goals that will improve our foster care system. The enthusiasm and passion within this group is inspiring, and we are all excited about its potential to make a difference for young people in foster care.

In October we also celebrated our 101st AGM with Minister Wooldridge and 120 other special guests at the Melbourne Town Hall. It was wonderful to have so many people present for this important occasion, where we had a rare opportunity to stop and recognise some major achievements made over the past year. Thank you to everybody that attended. We were delighted to see so many people there supporting the Centre.

Deb Tsorbaris

AGM 2013

In late October the Centre celebrated its 101st Annual General Meeting with 120 representatives from across the community sector.

The meeting recognised a number of significant achievements made over the past year, with special presentations made by Mary Wooldridge MP, Residential Carer of the Year Louisa Reilly-Grima and Aidan Stevenson; a young man that has recently transitioned from foster care. More →

The Centre’s 2013 Annual Report is available online here.

Foster Care Network

In September the Centre relaunched the Foster Care Network to address a range of issues impacting our sector’s capacity to deliver care to young people unable to live at home.

All Victorian foster care providers have been invited to participate in the regular meetings, which are co-hosted by the Centre and Foster Care Association of Victoria. More →

Leaving Care – Forum

On Thursday 5th December the Centre and Monash University are hosting a forum titled Creating New Options for Care Leavers.

Emily Munro from the University of London and local expert Dr Philip Mendes from Monash University will provide an in-depth look at ways to improve outcomes for young people transitioning from out-of-home care.

Detail and a registration form are available here.

Sector Development Forums

The Centre’s final Sector Development Forums for 2013 will take place in December.

1. Kinship Services – Monday 9th December.

2. Leaving Care Practitioners Forum – Wednesday 11th December.

3. Child and Family Services Forum – Monday 16th December.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Angela Scarfe on 9614 1577 or

Service Sector Reform

On November 1st Professor Peter Shergold’s report Service Sector Reform: A roadmap for community and human services was released by the Hon Mary Wooldridge.

At the launch, Minister Wooldridge announced the establishment of the Community Sector Reform Council, which will bring government and the community sector together to improve the wellbeing of disadvantaged and vulnerable Victorians.

The Centre’s statement welcoming the release of the report is available here.

5 Year Out-of-Home Care Plan

This month we are anticipating the release of the DHS 5 Year Out-of-Home Care Plan, which will build on recommendations made through the PCCV and Ombudsman Inquiries.

The Centre has collaborated with agencies on a submission, and was recently invited to participate with the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People – Andrew Jackomos – and a group of Aboriginal organisations on the development of the Aboriginal 5 Year Out-of-Home Care Plan.

Look out for more information later in November and in the next Centre E-News.

Royal Commission

In October the Centre made a submission to the Royal Commission’s third issues paper – Child Safe Institutions. A copy of this submission is available here.

Submissions to the Royal Commission’s fourth issues paper, Preventing Sexual Abuse in Out-of-Home Care, close on Friday 8th November. The Centre’s submission will be made available in the next Centre e-news, or look out for it before then on the Royal Commission Website.

Vale – Justice John Fogarty AM

It is with deep regret that we acknowledge the passing of the Honourable Justice John Fogarty AM.

John Fogarty was a life member of the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, and participated in three child protection inquiries and an inquiry into intercountry adoption.

He was one of the first appointments to the Melbourne Family Court in 1976, and has been widely recognised for serving with great dignity and distinction.

The Centre would like to extend our condolences to his wife Alicia and his family.

VACCA – 2014 Diary

VACCA’s 2014 Deadly Culture Diary is now available, containing creation stories, significant cultural dates, interesting quotes, a cultural activity checklist and other important information.

For more information about VACCA’s 2014 My Deadly Culture Diary, call (03) 8388 1855, or order it online here. More information can be found on the flyer here.

CREATE – The Power Within

On November 24th the CREATE Foundation are hosting a photographic exhibition featuring the work of 24 young people with an out-of-home care experience.

The exhibition will coincide with CREATE’s national conference, and share interviews and photographs that this group of young people have captured with successful Australians that come from a disadvantaged background.

A flyer containing more information about the exhibition can be found here, and conference details are available here.

WIRE – Financial Abuse Project

The Women’s Information Information and Referral Exchange is conducting research into women’s experience of financial abuse in intimate relationships, with a particular focus on the barriers and challenges women face in claiming their full financial and legal entitlements when they leave a relationship.

WIRE will be conducting focus groups throughout November. More information is available here, or contact the researcher Prue on 9348 9416 or

Adoption Awareness – Dr Karyn Purvis

As part of National Adoption Awareness Week, American Child Psychologist Dr Karyn Purvis will be speaking in Melbourne on Tuesday 12th November.

Dr Purvis will be introducing her award winning Trust Based Relationship Intervention program, which has proven extremely effective in creating healing environments for children that have experienced trauma, abuse, neglect, foster care or adoption.

For more information, see the event flyer here.

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