Changes to provide certainty for children

Children running
29 February 2016
Children running

Legislative changes came into effect today to enable earlier planning and intervention when children are found to have been abused or neglected.

The changes are focused on child protection and the Children’s Court making more timely decisions about children’s long-term care, because it is harmful for children to experience long periods of uncertainty about their future care.

Key changes include:

  • Early intervention and case planning when abuse and neglect is first identified.
  • Simplified Children's Court orders to clarify the purpose of the intervention.
  • Child protection case plans aligned to Children’s Court orders. There will be an actions table, so parents know what they need to do to regain care of their children.
  • Timeframes for parents to address protective concerns so their children can return to their care.
  • Cultural support planning for all Aboriginal children in out-of-home care.

The department is working with key service providers to improve access to the necessary services that parents may require to address protective concerns within the required timeframes.

$2 million has been provided for more individualised Family Preservation Packages to provide at-risk families the support and programs they need to address protective concerns and provide children with improved care and will also support family reunification. Further funding is also available to support permanent carers.

These changes respond to the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry 2012, which found it takes too many years for a permanent care order to be granted when this is necessary to ensure a child’s safety and wellbeing.

For more information, please see the Permanency for children page on this site.

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