Failing Victoria’s children and families: Crisis in the Victorian out-of-home care system

Did you know that the number of children and young people entering out-of-home care in Victoria each year is the highest in Australia?

If we don’t act now, it’s projected that 26,000 children and young people will be in out-of-home care by 2026. That’s 26,000 children and young people separated from their families.

With the right supports at the right time, many families could stay safely together. We’re facing nothing short of a crisis and we’re calling on the Victorian Government to invest in targeted early intervention as a matter of urgency.

The social and economic case for targeted early intervention is clear. By investing $150 million each year:

  • 1,200 children would be prevented from entering out-of-home care or progressing to residential care every year
  • Another 5,800 children and their families would be supported to become stronger and safer together
  • Victoria would save $1.6 billion over 10 years.

Find out more and what you can do to help.

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.

Berry Street Employment - Capability Framework

As part of our advocacy work, Berry Street submits to state and federal government inquiries relating to child, youth, and family services. You can find published submissions here.

Berry Street, in collaboration with the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare and leading agencies across the child and family services sector, commissioned an independent report by Social Ventures Australia.

Support services and advocacy groups working with people affected by abuse:

Find and Connect

Phone: 1800 161 109

Open Place

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

Beyond Blue

Phone: 1300 22 4636


Phone: 13 11 14

SANE Australia Helpline

Phone: 1800 187 663

Suicide Call Back Service

Phone: 1300 659 467

Mensline (National)

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