Young people transitioning from out-of-home care in Victoria

31 October 2014  |  

Strengthening support services for clients of child protection and youth justice By: Associate Professors Philip Mendes and Pamela Snow and Ms. Susan Baidawi, Faculty of Medicine, Monash University, Victoria, Australia There has been longstanding concern about the over-representation of young people in the youth justice system who have a background in out-of-home care, and the lack of support these care leavers receive when they are released from custody. These ‘dual order’ child protection and youth justice clients often present with complex needs which cannot be adequately addressed within ... Read More

By under Children, Children and families, Justice, Victorian state election, Young People and Families
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Spreading the benefits of energy efficiency to everyone

30 October 2014  |  

Anne Martinelli from Environment Victoria outlines how the One Million Homes Alliance plan to roll out energy efficiency retrofits to low income households would save billions of dollars in Victoria's concessions budget, create jobs, and reduce energy and water costs in the community. The promise For most Victorians, energy and water bills represent a large and rapidly growing hit on already stretched household budgets. In the face of rising prices, many Victorians are investing in efficiency measures like weather-sealing, insulation, efficient lighting and water-efficient fittings to cut their ... Read More

By under Climate change, Energy and Water, State Politics, Victorian state election
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All Aboard logo

Improving transport accessibility

29 October 2014  |  

Ray Jordan is the facilitator of All Aboard, a group of accessibility advocates and community organisations who work together to improve the accessibility of the Victorian public transport network. Accessibility means many things to many people. Generally though, with regard to public transport, accessibility describes how easily any member of the community can: plan a journey get to boarding point board safely and efficiently pay fares ride safely know where they are during the journey recognise their destination alight safely make easy connections. A snapshot of public ... Read More

By under Disability, Disability, Disability, Transport, Victorian state election
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Funding for youth diversion programs a good step

28 October 2014  |  

The State Government has made the welcome announcement that it will direct more than $7 million towards youth diversion programs if re-elected in November. The two year pilot announced on Sunday will be followed by a state-wide pre-plea, legislated system, giving young people the same opportunity for diversion available to adults. This is a significant step that has long been called for by VCOSS members. Effective diversionary programs help young people address the underlying causes of their offending by tackling issues such as substance use, housing, mental health issues, education and ... Read More

By under Justice, Justice, Victorian state election
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From Principles to Practice

From Principles to Practice

27 October 2014  |  

Last year, the Victorian Government released its report into Service Sector Reform: A roadmap for community and human services reform. It subsequently adopted the 10 principles suggested in the report, as foundations for the evolving relationship between the community sector and the government. While providing a useful starting point, the principles as outlined are often vague, and not always clear in how they would translate into practice. Working with the Peaks and Statewide Networks Forum, VCOSS has produced the From Principles to Practice paper, aiming to interpret the principles by ... Read More

By under Advocacy, Community sector strengthening, Sector Reform, Sector Sustainability
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Save Foster Care

Save Foster Care: the Pozible campaign

23 October 2014  |  

On any given night there are about 6,400 children living in out-of-home care in Victoria. About 2,000 of these children are in foster care. Foster carers dedicate their lives to supporting some of the most vulnerable children in the state, but in return are offered unacceptably low levels of support, recognition and respect. Fostering will always present challenging moments, but the current system in Victoria is pushing carers to breaking point and driving foster carers away in record numbers. Demand for foster care placements is growing, but the number of foster carers is declining ... Read More

By under Children, Children and families, State Politics, State Politics, Victorian state election, Young people, Young People and Families
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Vulnerable Australians most at risk from climate change

22 October 2014  |  

Climate change is not just an environmental issue – it is a social justice issue. The recent NCCARF-CSIRO Climate Adaptation 2014 Future Challenges conference heard that the impacts of climate change – including extreme weather and natural disasters – are profoundly discriminatory. Climate change impacts exacerbate the health, mental health, safety, financial and other socioeconomic aspects of people facing disadvantage, particularly those living on low incomes. The Vulnerable and disadvantaged people panel session, chaired by VCOSS, heard that vulnerable and disadvantaged groups may be ... Read More

By under Uncategorized, Victorian state election
Rural scene

Justice and disadvantage? Just add rurality….

20 October 2014  |  

People living in regional, rural and remote areas face barriers in accessing justice that can lead to life-changing repercussions. Catherine McFaul argues that justice policies need to include a focus on the issues rural and regional people face. People’s ability to access justice transverses the spectrum of political persuasions, weaving through legislature and systems of government, and influences people’s connection to their community, health and wellbeing, often with life-changing repercussions. This is particularly so for rural Australians, who face geographic barriers in access to, ... Read More

By under Justice, Justice, Rural and regional, Victorian state election
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Governments under-invest in natural disaster mitigation: Productivity Commission

17 October 2014  |  

The Australian Government’s Productivity Commission’s recently released Natural Disaster Funding Draft Report argues that a greater focus on mitigation would limit the impact of natural disasters, and the Australian Government should increase mitigation funding to the States. The report finds that the evolution of natural disaster funding arrangements is characterised by a ‘growing generosity’ by the Australian Government during the previous decade, followed by a swing to constrain costs and increase oversight after the recent concentrated spate of costly disasters. It states that natural ... Read More

By under Climate change, Emergency management, Victorian state election
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EWOV Annual Report

Energy retailers need to lift their game to prevent disconnections

16 October 2014  |  

Today, more than 300 people will phone the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV) with a complaint about their energy retailer. Sixty of them will be calling about a payment issue, and 35 of them will have been threatened with disconnection or already been disconnected. Energy retailers tell us, time and time again, that the main reason people get disconnected is because they don’t actually tell the retailer that they are having trouble paying, or respond to reminder or disconnection notices. “Sixty per cent of people do not engage at all with the retailer before being disconnected” ... Read More

By under Concessions, cost of living, Energy and Water, Essential Services, Victorian state election
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