Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos has welcomed support from state and territory ministers for a national approach to issues affecting families and children, including family violence.

Ms Mikakos today hosted a meeting of Children and Families Ministers and representatives from seven states and territories to discuss the significant challenges facing jurisdictions including family violence, better out-of-home care for children, workforce training and data linkages.

The meeting, the first in nearly two years, discussed calls from family violence campaigners including Rosie Batty to address issues within the Family Court of Australia.

Ms Mikakos called on the next Federal Government to reform the Family Court as recommended by the Royal Commission into Family Violence and put more resources into supporting women and children survivors of family violence.

Ms Mikakos also briefed other jurisdictions about Victoria’s social policy reform agenda, including the Roadmap for Reform and response to recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Labor is providing $572 million to address housing, specialist family violence services and funding of family violence prevention.

This includes $168 million for the Roadmap which is designed to shift Victoria’s Child Protection system from a crisis response to prevention and early intervention.

The meeting also called on the next Federal Government to:

  • introduce a dedicated Medicare billing item for children in out of home care
  • to provide better child care support for vulnerable families
  • break down the barriers foster and kinship carers experience at Centrelink
  • reform tax laws to support new forms of foster care

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“Victoria is recognised as a leader in addressing social problems affecting families and children.”

“Our Government is determined to implement change and get Commonwealth support to ensure vulnerable families and children have the support they need to fulfil their potential.”

“Today’s meeting is a promising sign of national moves to address a range of issues important to families, carers and children.”