In early April, the Victorian Government Department of Health & Human Services officially launched the Roadmap for Reform: Strong Families Safe Children. Significant funding has been allocated to these reforms under the 2016-17 Victorian State Budget, released on 27 April.
The Roadmap explicitly addresses the findings of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, which tabled its final report in Victorian Parliament in March 2016. As part of its findings, the Royal Commission report recommended increased support for vulnerable Aboriginal families and children, currently over-represented in the Victorian child protection system.
The Roadmap recognises that focus of the child protection system should be on prevention and early intervention, instead of crisis, and aims to deliver a system focused on:
- better prevention of abuse and neglect by strengthening communities
- delivering early intervention support to children and families at risk
- keeping more families experiencing crisis together
- securing a better future for children who cannot live at home
A phased approach to reform has been developed to enable effective co-design, deliver early success and set the foundation for longer-term sustainable change.
The Victorian State Budget investments included a $16.5 million investment to ensure Aboriginal children and young people who can’t live with their immediate families maintain links with their culture, plus the recruitment of additional Aboriginal kinship and foster carers.
Further information is available at The Strong Families, Safe Children website.
To view and download the Roadmap for Reform, visit the DHS website.
To read the report of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, go to Royal Commission into Family Violence website.