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Organisation Forward Plan 2024 to 2026 released

CFECFW Updated Organisational Forward Plan 2024 to 2026

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare has released its Organisational Forward Plan 2024 to 2026, which outlines a refreshed pathway forward for the Centre of the next eighteen months.

The Centre’s CEO Deb Tsorbaris says the plan reflects the evolving needs of the Centre’s member organisations and a rapidly changing external environment. It also acknowledges that the Tasmanian child and family services sector ahs now welcomed the Centre as their peak body.

“At the heart of this plan are children and families affected by inequality, along with our member organisations dedicated to supporting them. Our members provide innovative and evidence-based support to children and families of all kinds who are striving to enact positive change in their lives. They have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to delivering life-changing services as the needs of children and families have become more complex. The Centre is privileged to stand alongside our growing number of member organisations,” she says.

Ms Tsorbaris says the Centre is proud of the progress of the children and families reform agenda and transformative changes implemented since the release of the Centre’s strategic plan in 2022.

“Following years of advocacy from the Centre and our members, the Victorian Government announced that therapeutic supports would be made available to all children and young people in residential care. Victoria now leads in prioritising children with a dedicated Ministerial portfolio, adopting a child-first lens in policy development, and demonstrating a serious commitment to ensuring children are protected and nurtured. The Victorian child and family services sector is keeping families safely together through innovative approaches like the Family Preservation and Reunification response and early help pathways.

“Our members have been delivering evidence-based service models with great impact across the entire continuum of family services and will continue to do so. With the release of the new strategic framework for family services from the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, which focuses on outcomes-driven and evidence-based models, we are well-positioned to continue leading the way. After concerted sector advocacy, we are also witnessing progress toward raising the age of criminal responsibility, aligning the state with international norms, evidence
on child development, and human rights standards.”

In March 2024, the Centre’s Board reviewed the strategic priorities and identified the key actions needed to achieve them. The Board has
made the strategic decision to concentrate our efforts over the next eighteen months where we know the Centre will have the greatest impact.

Three key activities were outlined to drive progress throughout the plan.

  1. Supporting the design of a contemporary foster care system
    We are observing a decline in available foster carers, not only in Victoria but globally. The evidence indicates that several factors are contributing to this trend, including increasing cost-of-living pressures, shifting dynamics within families, and the enduring financial strain of providing care. The Centre will work together with our members, children and young people in care, carers, and government to reimagine a home-based care system that reflects changes in our communities and families and acknowledges the incredible work of carers. This system must be flexible and able to adjust to changes in the external environment to guarantee the sustainability of home-based care options for children and young people whenever they are required.
  2. Driving a response to the Australian Childhood Maltreatment Study
    The Australian Childhood Maltreatment Study (ACMS) released in 2023 highlighted the unacceptably high prevalence of childhood abuse and neglect across Australia. The study’s call to action speaks to opportunities for more holistic and integrated early prevention and
    intervention activities across sectors. As a leader in the child and family sector, the Centre is well positioned to drive integration and investment in early intervention across the service continuum. The Centre is also committed to tailoring its existing work so that our work activities address the ACMS findings.
  3. Providing meaningful support to the Tasmanian child and family services sector as the peak body for children and families in Tasmania
    The merger between Families and Children Tasmania and the Centre, effective April 2024, presents an opportunity to create broader and lasting change for children, young people, and their families. The Centre and its team feel privileged to extend their expertise and support to
    children, young people, families, and our member organisations working with them in Tasmania. The Centre’s entry into Tasmania comes at a moment of system transformation with the Tasmanian government’s commitment to implementing all recommendations outlined by the
    Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s responses to child sexual abuse in institutional settings. During this time of change, the Centre will strive to provide meaningful support to our Tasmanian member organisations so they can continue to deliver and expand their life-changing services for children and families.

Next Steps

  • The Centre will continue to progress the three focal activities under our strategic priorities, as well as the existing and updated actions from the Organisational Forward Plan 2022-2026.
  • The Centre’s broader Strategic Plan Redesign process will commence in 2025 to develop an updated Vision, Purpose and Strategic Plan
    informed by our Board, our members across Tasmania and Victoria, and the views and aspirations of the children, young people and families they work with.
  • The Centre’s Board will monitor the implementation of this Organisational Forward Plan 2024-2026 to assess our progress, impact,
    and any adaptations required to our focus and approach.


Download the Updated Organisational Forward Plan 2024 to 2026 here.

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