FIXING VICTORIA’S RESIDENTIAL CARE

The Andrews Labor Government is taking action to support and protect vulnerable young Victorians living in residential care.

A $35.9 million boost to residential care services will ensure the overnight safety and support of young people recovering from the effects of trauma, abuse and neglect.

We have already made changes to overnight safety and supervision protocols, and with this funding boost we’re going further – enabling mandated overnight shifts to continue in every standard residential care unit. Overnight Safety Plans will ensure additional staff can attend smaller units within 30 minutes statewide.

The funding boost is in addition to recent reforms which include mandated qualifications for residential care workers supported by $8 million of funding for vocational training for staff – ensuring workers have the skills and expertise needed to give kids the best care.

Vulnerable children deserve safe and comfortable environments. When we came to power we took immediate action to upgrade the residential care facilities most in need of repair. The Victorian Budget 2016/17 provided a further $11.7 million for ongoing property upgrades.

Victoria Police and Child Protection are working together to protect vulnerable young people, issuing intervention orders and harbouring notices to unscrupulous people who look to exploit them.

These residential care improvements are a key component of the Labor Government’sRoadmap to Reform: Strong families, safe children, which is shifting our focus from crisis management to prevention and early intervention.

Victoria’s most vulnerable kids need more than just a roof over their heads. The Labor Government’s funding will ensure children get the support they need to transition out of residential care and into family or foster care as quickly as possible.

Labor’s introduction of Targeted Care Packages has also seen more than 190 young people in residential care transfer into more appropriate foster or kinship care arrangements.

More foster carers mean more safe and secure homes for vulnerable children. We’ve allocated $3.2 million towards attracting, recruiting and retaining foster carers, who open their hearts and homes to the Victorians that need them most.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos

“Young people in residential care need more than a roof over their heads. They need the support, protection and supervision to keep them safe.”

“Intensive support to Victoria’s most vulnerable kids gives young people the best opportunity to get back on track and live happy and successful lives.”

“We’re giving residential care workers the tools and expertise they need to protect and engage children. It will mean young people will feel safer and better supported under our care.”