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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 level.

Stronger overnight staffing and safety requirements for residential care

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 at a minimum requires:

  • An on-call or mobile support team response to be provided within 30 minutes when necessary, either to provide additional support in the residential care home or collect children and young people outside of the home to ensure their timely and safe return.
  • Young people are involved in safety planning, as appropriate to their age and development, and are aware of the strategies in place to support them to return home safely.
  • Overnight on-call and/or mobile support is operated by experienced staff familiar with residential care.
  • Consideration of the indicators for when additional staffing may be required, including circumstances where additional staffing is needed to support the stand up staff member in four bed homes or where a stand up staff member is necessary in homes with less than four beds. 

These changes have been reflected in the following updated documents:

  • Program requirements for residential care services in Victoria (October 2016).
  • Program requirements for the delivery of therapeutic residential care in Victoria (October 2016).

The following new documents have also been developed to assist:

  • Improving safety for children and young people in residential care overview guidelines
  • Improving safety for children and young people in residential care Overnight Safety Plan template.

The updated staffing and safety requirements are effective from 1 October 2016.

More information

For more information about the changes or to download a copy of any of the related documents, please visit the Department of Health and Human Services website at:,-guidelines-and-legislation/program-requirements-for-residential-care-services-in-victoria

Any questions in relation to the changes, please contact your Department of Health and Human Services Local Engagement Officer.