Early Support For Vulnerable Families And Children

The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with delivering early intervention and support services to help more vulnerable Victorian families and children, with the allocation of $36.7 million over four years.

Visiting Anglicare in Frankston today, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos announced funding for Child FIRST and Family Services to address demand and service gaps across the State.

This includes close to $640,000 per annum for the Bayside Peninsula, including Frankston and Seaford.

Child FIRST and Family Services connect families with early intervention services to improve parenting skills and support for vulnerable families to keep their children safe, reducing demand for child protection and other services down the track.

This funding allocation follows a submission process that began in August. It is part of the Labor Government’s record $257 million funding boost to child protection and family services in the 2015–16 Victorian Budget – a 17 per cent increase on the previous year.

Ms Mikakos also met with local families and maternal and child health (MCH) nurses taking part in a research trial called right@home, which is looking at ways to improve support for children under two years of age who are experiencing disadvantage or vulnerability.

She also met with participants from the Riviera community playgroup in Seaford to deliver a $1000 grant from the Great Start Community Playgroup Fund to help establish a new playgroup.

The grant will help cover set-up costs and provide mentoring support, as well as stock up on toys, play equipment, books and other resources to be used by families.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children

“We know that helping families before problems reach crisis point keeps children safer, which is why we are boosting early intervention services.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Frankston Paul Edbrooke

“This funding means support agencies, like those here in Frankston, will be able to help more vulnerable families early on, which can make all the difference down the track.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny

“This new community playgroup in Seaford will help families access a quality playgroup close to home – we know how important socialising and sharing can be for parents and children in those vital early years.”

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