Melbourne: The Andrews Labor Government is bolstering support for vulnerable families and new parents by extending proven early intervention programs across Victoria.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos on Aug 17 announced an additional $72.4 million over two years to continue services to support vulnerable families and children, through:
- $50.4 million to Child FIRST and family services providers so that families can receive targeted support and assistance if there are concerns about the wellbeing of a child or young person
- $22 million to Cradle to Kinder providers so that vulnerable young mothers aged 25 and under can receive support during pregnancy and until the child reaches four years of age.
Support like this means families can get the help they need to provide a stable, safe environment for their children should they experience difficulties.
Early intervention means there is less need for child protection services or out-of-home care.
Child FIRST will be incorporated into the new Support and Safety Hubs known as The Orange Door – which commenced operations in 2018.
Cradle to Kinder was expanded across Victoria in 2017 by the Labor Government to ensure vulnerable young mums receive more support with developing their parenting skills.
Evidence shows that early support services – such as home visits, tailored to a family’s circumstances – can significantly improve parenting and a child’s long-term health, development and success at school.
These programs are helping to deliver on the Labor Government’s Roadmap for Reform to support children, young people and their families by shifting the system from crisis response to prevention and early intervention.
This funding forms part of a record $858.6 million in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 to support vulnerable children and their families.