In March 2018 a new model of kinship care was introduced across Victoria.
The model provides better support for kinship placements.
The primary aims of the model are to:
- Identify kinship networks early
- Strengthen reunification, where appropriate
- Promote placement quality, and support children and young people living with kinship families, enabling them to thrive
- Promote placement stability, including reducing the likelihood of entry into residential care.
Key aspects of the model
- 44 (full time equivalent) dedicated kinship care staff employed by the department
- A First Supports program – delivered by Community Service Organisations (CSOs) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), including the completion of the Part B Comprehensive Assessment, the provision of up to 110 hours of family services, and flexible brokerage to new kinship placements state-wide.
- 300 additional case contracting targets (for CSOs) – for non-Aboriginal children and young people who are on long-term orders or care-by-Secretary orders and who have a non-reunification case plan goal. Aboriginal case contracting is provided through a separate initiative.
- Support for Aboriginal children and young people – funding of 39 targets for 200 hours of intensive family services for the reunification of Aboriginal children and young people, and a state-wide Aboriginal kinship finding service
- Access to brokerage to support and stabilise existing kinship placements at risk of breakdown
The department has established dedicated telephone numbers and email addresses for the new kinship engagement teams, as follows: