Program requirements for Residential Care services in Victoria

Program requirements for residential care services in Victoria and requirements for the delivery of therapeutic residential care – revised October 2016

The program requirements are the essential prerequisites for providing a quality service for the children and young people in residential care throughout the state. These requirements are designed to be used, where relevant, in conjunction with the requirements for delivery of therapeutic residential care, which outlines the mandatory program elements of therapeutic residential care to be implemented by Community Service Organisations.

Community Service Organisations should adopt these requirements in conjunction with the department's Standards and their own operations and procedural documentation.

Improving safety for children and young people in residential care

In 2016-17 the Victorian Government allocated $35.9 million to ensure every young person in residential care receives the complex level of support through the transition of all intermediate RP2 residential care targets to the complex RP3 level of funding. This builds on the $16 million invested in 2015 as part of the Improving safety in residential care initiative, which introduced safety and supervision requirements for all four-bed homes funded at the complex RP3 level.

From 1 October 2016, this means that every four-bed home will provide the consistency and predictability of a stand-up staff member overnight, and every residential care home across the state will be subject to a robust Overnight Safety Plan, which will ensure a rapid response of additional staff when required, including the safe return of young people overnight.

Minimum qualification requirements for Residential Care Workers in Victoria

On 13 April 2016, the Victorian Government released Roadmap for Reform: Strong families, safe children, outlining the direction of long term reform of Victoria’s child and family services system, including child protection, early intervention, and out of home care. Roadmap for Reform commits to mandatory qualifications for residential care workers and upskilling of the existing workforce.

On 8 May 2016, the Minister for Families and Children and the Minister for Training and Skills announced $8 million to upskill current residential care workers ahead of introduction of a minimum qualification by the end of 2017.

The minimum qualification requirement sets a benchmark to ensure all residential care workers have a common level of residential care specific skills and knowledge. The minimum qualification applies to all workers (full time, part time or casual) who provide direct care to children and young people in residential care.

From 1 January 2018 all residential care workers providing direct care in a residential care home funded by the Department of Health and Human Services will be required to hold either:

  • Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention (Residential and out of home care), including a mandatory trauma unit of competency
  • a recognised relevant qualification, plus completion of a short top up skills course.

Further information

For further information on how this policy and funding will affect Community Services Organisations, download the following documents:

  • Program requirements for residential care in Victoria October 2016
    Outlines the expectations for all Community Service Organisations providing residential out of home care.
  • Improving safety for children and young people in residential care overnight safety plan
    Explains how the Community Services
    Organisation will assess and respond to the care, safety and supervision requirements of children and young people placed in residential care overnight, every night.
  • Minimum Qualification Requirements for Residential Care Workers in Victoria
    A Minimum Qualification Strategy has been developed to support community service organisations to meet the new minimum qualification requirements and ensure residential care workers have the necessary skills, qualifications and training to care for vulnerable children and young people in residential care.


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