GOVERNMENT’S ROADMAP TO REFORM OFFERS NEW WAY FORWARD FOR VULNERABLE CHILDREN

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare welcomes the Government’s Roadmap for Reform: strong families, safe children which offers a new way forward in terms of protecting children at risk and supporting families under pressure.

“Today, Minister Mikakos signalled her Government’s strong focus on keeping families strong and children safe and happy through early intervention and prevention strategies, as well as boosting support for Aboriginal children and families,” CEO Deb Tsorbaris said.

“The commitments made today are unprecedented – not just in terms of investment, but also in terms of the Government’s willingness to acknowledge that we need to do more and better for vulnerable children and their families and to outline a vision for how we might do that.”

Highlights of the Roadmap for Reform include:

  • Commitment to an Aboriginal children and families strategy designed collaboratively with Aboriginal people and service providers and underpinned by a principle of self-determination
  • Better access to universal services in early childhood, such as kindergarten and maternal and child health services
  • Integrated and targeted early intervention supports for children, young people and their families
  • Better support and training for foster carers and families and kinship carers as well as testing models of professional foster care
  • Additional funding to improve outcomes for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care

“We are particularly excited that the Centre for Excellence will be playing a key role in gathering evidence about what works and tracking the impact of new service interventions as outlined in the Roadmap for Reform,” Ms Tsorbaris said.

“Victoria is about to embark on a major process of collaborative reform, involving the co-design of new intake and referral processes, better integration of child protection, family services and family violence services, and new ways of delivering early intervention and out-of-home care supports. 

“In order to succeed, we need to ensure that we are building on the strengths of existing systems such as Child FIRST, using the soundest evidence-base available and effectively measuring outcomes – we are very excited to be part of these crucial evidence gathering and evaluation processes.

“We also welcome the Government’s commitment to developing a ten-year plan to address Victoria’s family violence problem, better protect children and support their families.

“As Minister Mikakos acknowledged today, the challenge before us is immense and it will require the sustained and focused efforts of Government, the social services sector and the community working together to turn these bold reform plans into real, lasting and positive change for the benefit of Victoria’s most vulnerable children and families.”

Media Enquiries: Deb Tsorbaris (CEO) 0417 599 869 / Mary Fall (Communications) 0407 683 664

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