Failing Victoria’s children and families: Crisis in child protection system
Did you know the number of Victorian children and families involved with child protection each year is the highest in Australia and growing much faster than the national average?
And COVID-19 is making things even worse. Children and families already experiencing a range of challenges are disproportionately affected.
If we don’t act now, and we see continued severe impacts from COVID-19, it’s projected that an additional 4,500 children and young people will be in out-of-home care by 2026. This is on top of the 23,000 children and young people already predicted to be in care based on current, unsustainable growth rates.
That’s 27,500 children and young people separated from their families.
This is a crisis.
The Victorian Government must overhaul the child protection system and invest in targeted early intervention as a matter of urgency.
The social and economic case for targeted early intervention is clear. New research by Social Ventures Australia, commissioned by Berry Street and the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, shows why investment now is critical.
Investing $193M annually over 10 years, in the face of severe impacts from COVID-19 will see:
- 1,460 children prevented from entering out-of-home care or progressing to residential care every year
- 9,150 children access targeted early intervention programs, supporting them to stay safely with their families
- Victoria save $1.99 billion over 10 years.
Advocating for change: Courageously changing lives and reimagining service systems
Berry Street is a strong and independent voice for the children, young people and families with whom we work. We do not accept social injustice, inequality, or system failure. We act to:
- reorientate the child and family system towards early intervention and prevention
- keep families safe and together
- support children and young people to reach their full potential
- allow children and young people to engage with their cultures and communities.
Policy position statements
Read our policy positions on a range of important issues and our call for change at State and Federal levels.
We are stronger when we act together
Berry Street is also a proud partner and supporter of Home Stretch, Anti-Poverty Week, Everybody Counts, Smart Justice for Young People and Raise the Rate.
What can you do to help?
Join us on our journey to reimagine the system and courageously change lives.
- Follow Michael Perusco, Berry Street CEO, on Twitter to keep up to date as we advocate for change
- Share our social media posts and help get the message out – Victoria is facing a crisis and we must invest in early intervention now!
- Subscribe to our enews, which includes regular updates on early intervention
- Support Berry Street by donating and help us courageously change lives and reimagine service systems
Together we can reimagine the future.
Support services and advocacy groups working with people affected by abuse:
Find and Connect
Phone: 1800 161 109
Victoria’s Support Service for Forgotten Australians
Phone: 1800 779 379
Alliance for Forgotten Australians (AFA)
Note that AFA is a national advocacy organisation not a support service
Phone: (02) 6273 4885
Phone: 1300 22 4636
Phone: 13 11 14
SANE Australia Helpline
Phone: 1800 187 663
Suicide Call Back Service
Phone: 1300 659 467
Phone: 1300 789 978
Australian Psychological Society Referral Line
Phone: 1800 333 497
Phone: 1800 272 831
Blue Knot Helpline
Support for adults who have experienced childhood trauma and abuse.
Phone: 1300 657 380
Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN)
Phone: 1800 008 774