An innovative new approach to delivering intensive, evidence-based and coordinated support to children and families at the right time.
The Family Preservation and Reunification Response (the Response) aims to promote strong families with children who are safe, healthy, resilient and thriving, and parents and caregivers who are supported to create a safe and nurturing home environment.
In 2020–21, the Response is being delivered by community service organisations in partnership with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations in each of the 17 departmental areas. An Aboriginal response is delivered by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations in each of the 4 operational divisions.
The Response provides responsive, evidence-based and sustainable support to children and families in partnership with Child Protection to:
- Keep children safely at home
- Prevent children and young people entering care services
- Support children and young people currently in care to safely reunify with their family.
The Response is for vulnerable children, young people and families that account for a high percentage of all children entering care with identified parent, child and case factors. This includes:
- Children subject to an unborn report
- Children from birth to 5 years of age
- Children and young people 10 to 15 years of age.
The Response works with Aboriginal families and communities to advance Aboriginal self-determination, promote culturally safe and inclusive services to support cultural healing. It also acknowledges the unique needs, preferences and history of Aboriginal children and families.
For more information about phase one of the Response, including the 2020–21 service providers, see the Family Preservation and Reunification Response factsheet (Word).
Guides and resources
- Response Operational Start-up Guide (Word)
- Practice Phases and Activities Guide (Word)
- Understanding and Planning Guide (Word)
- A brief outline of the practice modules (Word)
- Implementation starter pack (Word)
In the 2020-21 State Budget, the Victorian Government announced $335 million over four years to continue the transformation of the children and families service system to focus on early intervention and prevention, including the expansion of the Response. This allows the Response to continue and expand over the next three years to 30 June 2024.
Phase two will enable the Response to:
- reach an increased number of children and families across Victoria
- enable new service activities that will reach a broader group of children and families in need of intensive support.
In line with Roadmap for Reform: Strong Families, Safe Children, the department is transforming the way services are delivered to be person centred, culturally informed, outcomes oriented and embedded in evidence.
The expansion of the Response marks an important milestone in the reform journey, bringing together a range of system, service and practice changes into the service delivery environment, and laying the foundation for building and scaling evidence-informed service models across the children and families service platform.