The Andrews Labor Government is investing in a new, state-wide permanent carer helpline to provide timely support services when they need it most.
The not-for-profit association Permanent Care and Adoptive Families will manage the helpline, with qualified professionals to deliver phone advice and assistance, an official press release said.
Permanent carers provide stable and nurturing homes for vulnerable children and young people.
The Government will provide $600,000 for the helpline as part of its targeted $7.2 million package to support permanent carers including better support programs for permanent carers and to give children in permanent care a sense of stability and certainty about their future.
In addition to the helpline, additional flexible funding packages are available for new and existing permanent carers.
The funding can be used to cover expenses related to a child’s educational, health and medical needs, to assist with contact between parents, siblings, and family members, to help in preserving cultural identity, and for costs related to respite care and child care.
A permanent care order is granted by the Children’s Court where it is deemed that a child or young person is unable to return home to their parents.
Once an order is made, a permanent carer becomes the child’s legal parent and makes decisions about their day-to-day care, as well as long-term decisions like education, health and employment.
The Government’s $168 million Roadmap for Reform was introduced to shift the children and family services system from crisis response to prevention and early intervention.
This includes $19.2 million to better support children in home-based care and their carers in order to stabilise these placements and improve life outcomes for vulnerable children, the press release added. (TIW)