Victorian Budget delivers for the state’s most vulnerable young people

The 2023/24 Victorian Budget delivers in several important areas for some of the state’s most vulnerable children and young people, the acting head of one of the state’s largest child welfare organisations said today.

Anglicare Victoria Acting CEO Sue Sealey recognised the Andrews Government for the $535 million investment in residential care which was announced in the state budget today.

“Due to their family circumstances, children living in residential care homes often have serious mental health issues and challenging behaviour. Many struggle to keep up with their peers in school due to the distractions of their personal lives. This new investment by the government will fund specialist therapeutic services for those in residential care – giving them the best possible chance at a positive future,” Ms Sealey said.

“Importantly, it also means many more of those in the residential care system will live in two- and three-bedroom homes rather than the four-bedroom houses which are the most common today. The government should be commended for taking action to improve these young lives, and this new funding will realise greater ambition for those in its care who are unable to live with their biological families.”

Ms Sealey also congratulated the government for funding a Housing First approach for hundreds of young people leaving residential care, which was modelled on the COMPASS Leaving Care initiative pioneered by Anglicare Victoria, in partnership with VincentCare.

“With the entire country in the middle of a rental crisis, this additional support is critical to give young people from resi care a place to live and help them build tenancy histories as important building blocks towards the next phase of their lives. It is fantastic to see the government get behind this issue and recognise how important it is for these vulnerable young people.

“COMPASS has clearly shown how positive these initiatives can be in helping young people in state care to find jobs and go on to higher education and independent living arrangements,” she said.

Ms Sealey said the $140 million to support First Nations children through Aboriginal-led organisations was also a significant investment.

“This year’s budget contains some important initiatives for the community sector, as well as funding for schools, early childhood education and vulnerable people,” Ms Sealey said.


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