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A “therapeutic approach” to Out-Of-Home-Care

Wednesday 26th March, 2014 

The Salvation Army applauds the “therapeutic approach” to the Out-Of-Home-Care system proposed by the Victorian Government, as a step in the right direction to providing healing for some of our state’s most vulnerable children and young people. 

It also welcomes the investment of $38 million of new money in the 2014/15 State Budget, the launch of the “Out-Of-Home-Care Five Year Plan” and the appointment of a Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People to lead a taskforce to consider the needs of Aboriginal children and young people.
 
However, The Salvation Army remains concerned that the currently underfunded Residential Care placements will remain in the system until then and calls on the Minister to prioritise the decommissioning of single staffed models of care and replace them with appropriately funded Therapeutic Residential Care models as a matter of urgency.

Whilst The Salvation Army acknowledges the enhanced support for Foster and Kinship Carers as outlined in the plan, we believe that one of the major oversights of this plan is the Governments lack of strategy in relation to increasing carer reimbursements for Victoria’s Foster Carers.
 
Mr Peter Mulholland, Network Director of SA Westcare said, “currently Victoria’s Foster Carers are amongst the lowest reimbursed carers across the nation. Foster Care is one of the best forms of Out-Of-Home-Care that we can provide and investing in these carers rather than relying on their good will only makes sense so that we can ensure children’s safety, stability and nurturing through our alternative care arrangements.”

“In addition, the plan does not pay enough attention to supporting young people leaving care so that they can avoid a lifetime of disadvantage and ongoing need for government support. Leaving Care requires more dedicated resources to make sure that housing pathways are guaranteed and that support to develop independent living skills, education, employment and community involvement is available for as long as they need it.”

The Salvation Army remains committed to improving the lives of children and young people in the Out-Of Home-Care system. It looks forward to working with the government, peak bodies and other community organisations in continually advocating for better outcomes on those for whom The Salvation Army care for on a daily basis.  

For further information or media comment please contact:
Mr Peter Mulholland, Network Director of Salvation Army Westcare
Tel: (03) 8311 5032
Mob:  0417 589 510
Email: peter.mulholland@aus.salvationarmy.org