Early intervention key to better protect children and young people

Foster Care, News | Posted November 20, 2019
Early intervention key to better protect children and young people

A new report released today by Social Ventures Australia Limited (SVA Consulting) makes a strong economic case for long-term investment in targeted early intervention and intensive family preservation to prevent children entering out-of-home care (OOHC) in Victoria.

“Diverting children from out-of-home care, preserving family relationships and keeping kids with family is not only the right thing to do, it makes sound economic sense,” says Michelle Van Doorn, National Executive Director of Services, OzChild.

“The report paints a pretty clear picture, over a 10-year period Victoria can save $1.6 billion in the child protection and out-of-home care systems alone and divert 1,200 children a year from out-of-home care. It is imperative, through greater investment in early intervention strategies, for the system to evolve to ensure better outcomes for children and families,” adds Ms Van Doorn.

The number of children involved in the child protection and OOHC system in Victoria is increasing – both in terms of numbers of children as well as a percentage of the population. From 2013 to 2018, the number of children in OOHC increased 11% per year (SVA analysis. Compound annual growth rate of all children in OOHC, based on AIHW Child Protection Australia 2017-18).

The total cost of protective intervention and OOHC services in Victoria in 2017-18 was $943 million (Productivity Commission Report on Government Services 2019, 2017-18 costs).

Creating safe and nurturing environments for young Victorians by supporting parents to better prepare them to care for and nurture their kids to prevent child abuse and neglect is imperative in turning the tide on the number of children receiving child protection services.

That is why, for the past five years OzChild has been working hard to implement evidence-based programs to address the growing number of children being placed in OOHC.

“OzChild has been delivering Multisystemic Therapy – Child Abuse and Neglect and Functional Family Therapy – Child Welfare in NSW as part of the Their Futures Matter strategy to overhaul the coordination and delivery of services to vulnerable children, young people and families.

Over the two years to 2017/18 the number of children entering out-of-home care in NSW has fallen by 44.5%. NSW now has the lowest rate of children and young people admitted to out-of-home care.

“There is no doubt in my mind the investment in evidence-based early intervention programs in NSW has contributed to these significant reductions, a greater investment here in Victoria would see similar results,” adds Ms Van Doorn.

Latest news

View all
Foster Care
OzChild Achieve Australian First

OzChild’s Treatment Foster Care Oregon program in Melbourne’s South East is not only saving vulnerable kids from a lifetime of disadvantage, but is the first in Australia to receive certification….

Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare Appoints New Chair

At the Centre’s first virtual AGM, our deputy chairperson Dr Lisa J. Griffiths acknowledged our outgoing Chairperson Paul McDonald. Paul is well known to most of our members having been…


Leading Community Service Organisation OzChild launches new program to keep children and young people in Victoria from entering out-of-home care OzChild is working with at-risk families in Western Melbourne, Brimbank…

Subscription icon

Sign up to the OzChild mailing list

Stay up to date with the latest news and events.

Choose your region

Select your region to create an enhanced and personal experience.