State Budget builds on strong foundation of reform to keep children safe

MEDIA RELEASE, Tuesday May 1, 2018

Today’s State Budget will continue to transform support for struggling families and improve out-of-home care for young people, according to Anglicare Victoria.

Chief Executive Officer Paul McDonald welcomed the commitment of $858.6 million to continue the Roadmap to Reform agenda which would make a real difference for vulnerable children and families.

“The funding continues the ground-breaking work that has begun under the Victorian Government’s Roadmap to Reform,’’ he said.

“It signals a welcome commitment to do better for the most vulnerable kids, and to stem the escalating demand for out-of-home care and stop families churning through the system.

“It will also enable us to ensure we give those kids who need to live in out-of-home care the best possible care and chance to succeed in the future.’’

Mr McDonald welcomed the Government’s announcement of continued funding for evidence-based programs to prevent children entering the out-of-home care system and keep them safe with their families.

He also praised continued funding for programs that focused on giving as many young people as possible the chance to live in home-based care, including the Australia-first trial of the Treatment Foster Care Oregon program.

The funding of 162 Targeted Care packages was also a welcome step in reducing the number of young people living in residential care.

Mr McDonald praised the Budget’s emphasis with more than $100 million invested in family services and early intervention programs, such as the Cradle to Kinder program.

He also welcomed the continuing work to better support Aboriginal families through initiatives such as Australia’s first Aboriginal Children in Care program.

“This Budget continues the welcome shift in the way child and family services are delivered in Victoria, making prevention a priority,’’ he said. “We know that if we can support families early and intensively before their problems spiral out of control, we can bring routine and stability to a home and keep kids safe.’’

Mr McDonald also praised the Budget’s $705 million boost to address mental illness and addiction, and the continuing commitment to eradicating family violence.

Initiatives which supported young people to stay in school – such as the state-wide expansion of the Navigator program and opportunities for young people to attend TAFE and complete apprenticeships and traineeships, were also welcome.

“By better supporting families, keeping kids safe and creating opportunities for all kids to succeed, this Budget is forging a positive future for the Victorian community,’’ he said.

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