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Newsletter – February 2015

13 February 2015

Dear subscribers & friends,

Welcome to the first SectorLink for 2015. We look forward to providing you with the information and resources you require in your work to improve the lives of Victoria’s vulnerable children, young people and families.

The year has started with significant announcements from Minister Mikakos, including; the establishment of a Ministerial Advisory Committee, increased funding for residential care units and increased funding for foster care recruitment.

The Education Minister, James Merlino, has also set out his expectations for improving Victoria’s educational performance, including “…tackling disadvantage and assisting vulnerable families.” The educational needs of Victoria’s most vulnerable children need particular attention. If Victoria aspires to be the “Education State” then real improvements in the educational outcomes of its most vulnerable citizens, those entrusted to the care of the State, must be a key success factor.

The Centre is working with member agencies who are facing challenges after the DSS funding announcements, to gather information on the impacts which will be felt by vulnerable children and their families as a consequence.

We know that there is a lot of work to be done, but as a sector we know what works. The Centre will work closely and collaboratively with government, policy makers and member organisations to ensure better outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and their families.

Deb Tsorbaris


Study Tour – April 2015

To enhance the professional development of the sector the Centre is pleased to invite members and non members to join their 2015 Study Tour. The tour is designed for Chief Executive Officers and Senior Managers.

The tour will focus on the UK and include attendance to the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASPCAN) Conference in Edinburgh Scotland, visit to Centre of Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland in Glasgow, National Council Voluntary Organisation in London and Out of Home Care/Foster Care agency visits.

Click here for further details and to register your interest.


Learning & Development

The Centre offers a range of accredited and non-accredited training to members and non-members.

Management Skills for New Team Leaders (Friday 27th February)

The aim of this workshop is to help participants develop skills and confidence in their transition into a leadership role within their organisation. There can be many challenges faced in this process, including establishing a new way of relating to former colleagues and understanding what the expectations are of being responsible for a team.

For more information on Upcoming Learning & Development Opportunities click here.

Out of Home Care Investment

On 7th February Minister Mikakos announced a significant investment in Vulnerable Children in Out of Home Care.

$16m is to be invested to ensure that more children and young people in care will have the extra security and safety of 24-hour support, including more staff during the day and a staff member who remains awake at night.

A further $1.5 million will be put towards spot audits of residential care facilities to ensure the highest standards of care managed by non-government agencies.

In addition $1.5 million will be invested to attract, recruit and retain more foster carers.

Click here to read the Centre’s media release.

Resi Worker Conversation – Now Open

This forum is for anyone who is currently employed as a Residential Care Worker in Victoria – Fulltime, Part time or Casual.

  • Have your say in the conversations
  • Give your point of view in the Poll questions
  • Fill out the Surveys
  • Invite other Residential Care Workers to get involved

This online forum is being moderated by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare and is part of a large Residential Care Workforce Project funded by DHHS.

The Residential Care Workforce Project will plan training and qualifications for Resi workers into the future.

Click here to join the Resi Worker Conversation

Royal Commission into Family Violence

On 23 December 2014, the Victorian Government announced the establishment of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The Royal Commission into Family Violence will be led by Justice Marcia Neave AO, Justice of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria.

The extract of Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Family Violence can be found here.

Further details will be provided as they come to hand on the Centre’s website

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission has released a consultation paper on Redress and Civil Litigation.

The Centre will prepare a formal written submission on the consultation paper. If you would like to discuss or provide comments on the consultation paper for the Centre’s consideration please do not hesitate to contact Mary Kyrios on 90963508 or by 20th February 2015.

Further information on the Consultation paper is available here.

The Centre has also updated it’s Summary of Public Hearings.

Upcoming Centre Events

The following events are upcoming at the Centre:


Further information is available by clicking on each of the events above.

ResiROCKS – Save the Date

ResiROCKS is the one opportunity each year to bring together residential workers from across the state to learn, laugh & celebrate.

ResiROCKS 2015 will be held on Tuesday 26 May.

Click here to keep up to date with information as it becomes available.

CREATEing Equality

CREATEing Equality will work with young people to develop resources for workers and carers to better support LGBTQ young people in out of home care.

You are invite to attend the CREATEing Equality launch to learn more about the project and how you can get young people involved in having their voice heard.

2:30pm, Monday 2 March at CREATE offices

Contact for further details.

Youth Diversion Pilot Program – RFT

The Children’s Court of Victoria announced on 21 January 2015 a Request for Tender for the provision of a Youth Diversion Pilot Program.

The Court is seeking suitably qualified and experienced organisations to collaborate with the Court to develop and deliver a court-referred, community-based diversion program for young offenders

The submission are due by 2pm, 19 February 2015.

Further information is available via Tenders Vic.

NAB Community Grants 2015

NAB are helping create more of what matters to people, communities and to our economy. For NAB, this means helping people have a healthy relationship with money, building more prosperous communities and ensuring we contribute to a future focused nation.

For further details on the NAB Community Grants 2015 click here.

Applications open 2 March and close 27 March.

 DSS Funding Announcements

In December 2014, the Department of Social Services announced their funding for programs under the Families and Communities Programme. The Centre is concerned about the reduction of funding and long-term programs that have been de-funded under this process.

The Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison announced on 30 January 2015 that the Government will provide new bridging funding to ensure continuity of front line community services.

Click here for further details


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