2017 KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

MINISTER FOR FAMILIES & CHILDREN

MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

MINISTER FOR YOUTH AFFAIRS

Early Childhood Education

  • Released the Education State Early Years Reform Plan: Ready for kinder, Ready for school, Ready for life, backed by $202.1M, the single largest investment by a State Government in early childhood education ever.
  • $55.3M to introduce Australian-first school readiness funding based on children’s level of need.
  • $37.7M to extend the Enhanced MCH Service to make it available to families with children up to three years of age.
  • $22.8M for quality improvement grants and additional DET staff to lift quality of early childhood services.
  • $10M to build new early childhood facilities co-located at government primary schools.
  • $6.3M to meet the growing demand for Early Start Kindergarten to help Koorie children and children known to child protection access two years of free kinder.
  • $2.3M for Pre-Purchased Places so that vulnerable families can still access kinder places, even after enrolment deadlines have passed.
  • $22.3M for state wide rollout of supported playgroups to enable 6,000 additional families to participate each year.
  • $5.4M to support Koorie parents and children with culturally appropriate services.
  • $11M for an Australian-first initiative to enable MCH nurses to provide an additional visit to support women and children at risk of or experiencing family violence.
  • $5.2M to attract, retain and develop our MCH workforce.
  • $4.9M to add additional staff to the MCH Line, which provides information to parents 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
  • $7.2M to support families access ECIS in the transition to the NDIS.
  • $5M for the Kindergarten Inclusion Support program so that more children with a disability can attend kindergarten.
  • Announced $19M in early childhood inclusive education initiatives for children with special needs to access early years services including training Maternal and Child Health nurses in the early detection of signs of autism in children.

Child Protection, Family Services, Out of Home Care and Community Participation

  • $72.2M to employ 450 new child protection workers, the biggest ever expansion of the child protection workforce.
  • Rolled out reform initiatives in Victoria’s South Division focused on supporting young people leaving care, family reunification and Aboriginal return to country programs.
  • Launched professionalised foster care program Treatment Foster Care Oregon Model.
  • Launched the Keep Embracing Your Success (KEYS) intensive support service, a new model of residential care with in-house mental health support to better prepare young people with complex needs to transition from residential care and into home-based care arrangements.
  • Our Targeted Care Packages have helped more than 450 children and young people transition out of residential care to families. The 2017-18 Budget provided funding for 100 more packages.
  • Launched Australian-first Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care program, authorising the transfer of guardianship of Aboriginal children from the secretary to the CEO of an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation. $2M was provided to the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency for the pilot and authorisation.
  • $19M for state wide rollout of Cradle to Kinder program to provide more vulnerable families with access to the critical support they need during and after the birth of their child.
  • $29.2M for ChildFIRST and family services to work with more than 2,000 additional families at risk of becoming involved with child protection including $5.1M to trial and evaluate evidence-based programs that improve family capability.
  • Commenced the reportable conduct scheme to improve oversight of how organisations respond to allegations of child abuse and child-related misconduct.
  • $879,000 for new and refurbished Men’s Sheds.
  • Opened the first regional Good Money store in Morwell to ensure more families will have access to a range of safe and affordable financial services and assistance.
  • $33.5M for new kinship carer model to deliver better support to carers and children.
  • Launched Building Better Futures program to help young people leaving care transition to independence.

Family Violence Services

  • Expanded the Caring Dads program to three trial sites in North Eastern Melbourne, Western Melbourne and Inner Gippsland. This is an early intervention and prevention program aimed at fathers at risk of engaging in family violence.
  • $12.4M for family violence perpetrator programs and referral services state wide, encouraging men to acknowledge the impact of their violence and change their behaviour.
  • Rolled out family violence workers embedded in child protection offices across Victoria.
  • $22.87M for 26 projects to provide intensive therapeutic support to women, children and their families experiencing family violence across Victoria, including four that support Aboriginal people.
  • $5.7M to 11 agencies across Victoria to expand Sexually Abusive Behaviour Treatment Services to young people who exhibit sexually abusive behaviours.
  • $17.3M for flexible support packages, with 5,100 packages available for practical support to women and children leaving family violence, including rental or relocation costs, furnishings, clothing and books for children or security measures to improve safety at home.

Youth Justice

  • Released the Youth Justice Review and Strategy: Meeting Needs and Reducing Offending, the first comprehensive independent review of Victoria’s youth justice system in 17 years. $50M invested to address its priority recommendations including the biggest ever expansion of rehabilitation services.
  • $288M to build a new fit-for-purpose and high security youth justice centre at Cherry Creek that will play a key role in the rehabilitation of young people and improve community safety. It will create up to 3000 construction jobs and deliver an estimated economic benefit of $420 million to the local area.
  • State wide rollout of youth diversion scheme enabling young people to be diverted to support services.
  • $151.5M to fortify and strengthen existing youth justice infrastructure including additional secure beds at existing youth justice precincts to ensure they are fit-for-purpose.
  • $14M to expand mental health treatment services to young people who are in, or at risk of entering the criminal justice system.
  • Launched a recruitment campaign to boost the youth justice workforce and funded 41 new youth justice staff and a further 21 SERT positions.

Youth Affairs

  • Hosted Victoria’s inaugural Youth Summit at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – attended by more than 400 young people from across Victoria.
  • Launched the inaugural Victorian Youth Congress giving young people a voice in our government.
  • $4.3M for a new youth space for young people in the La Trobe Valley.
  • $2M for four regional offices run by the Centre for Multicultural Youthand the Youth Affairs Council Victoria to continue their support for young people in regional Victoria.
  • A further $1.75M to expand the Aboriginal Youth Mentoring Program, giving Aboriginal young people more opportunities to strengthen their connections to culture through community-led mentorship programs.
  • $2M over four years for Scouts Victoria and Girl Guides Victoria to enable more young people from culturally diverse and socially and economically disadvantaged communities to participate.
  • $600,000 to fund experienced youth outreach workers to work directly with young Pacific Islanders and re-connect them to school, jobs and training.