Invest in Victoria's future
1 March, 2012
The Salvation Army commends the work of the Honourable Philip Cummins (Chair), Emeritus Professor Dorothy Scott OAM, and Mr Bill Scales AO in releasing the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry report this week in Parliament.
In the last ten years there has been significant reform, including the development of therapeutic models of care and Integrated Family Services. The reforms of the Cummins Report build on these previous reforms and rightly include the broader service system to address the complexity of needs experienced by vulnerable people.
As a long time advocate for children in Victoria and one of the largest Out of Home Care providers in the State, The Salvation Army warmly welcomes the report and supports the majority of recommendations, including:
- A Whole-of-Government response to improve outcomes for vulnerable children;
- Flexible funding for children to ensure the needs of the child are met regardless of where they land in the system;
- Paying foster carers a wage which covers the costs of fostering a child and reflects the contribution they make to our communities;
- Providing therapeutic care to all children in Out of Home Care;
- Extending assistance to children over 18 years of age who are leaving the system and are particularly vulnerable;
- Restructuring the Children’s Court to better meet demand and the needs of children and families.
John Avent, the Manager of Westcare Child and Adolescent Services said, 'Particularly exciting is the Inquiry’s recognition that improving outcomes for vulnerable children extends beyond the child protection system. A Whole of Government response is needed which works with schools and the tertiary education sector, mental health, homelessness, alcohol and drug, primary health, and family services.
'It is also extremely important to ensure that children have access to support such as therapeutic care and have continued access to support as they leave care because the transition out of the system is when they are most vulnerable and likely to enter into the homelessness system.
'The recommendations in this Inquiry are believed to improve outcomes for children and will help them successfully transition into independent living as adults.'
The Victorian Government made a commitment to improve outcomes for vulnerable young people when it committed to this Inquiry.
The Salvation Army calls on the Victorian Government to respond to the findings and recommendations of this report and provide adequate funding to child protection and out of home care services in the upcoming state budget. Children represent the future of Victoria. We believe it is now time for the Government to invest in Victoria’s future.
For more information please contact:
The Salvation Army, Australia Southern Territory
Territorial Communications & Fundraising Department, 95-99 Railway Road, Blackburn VIC 3130
T: 03 8878 2400