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Energy retailers breaching customer protectio. . .

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Energy retailers breaching customer protections

15 April 2015  |  

Victorian energy retailers are breaching customer protections and wrongfully disconnecting people from their essential energy supplies at a growing and alarming rate and must be reined in, according to the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Energy retailers must be put on notice that Victorians will no longer accept a cavalier approach to compliance with customer protections,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The latest report on energy retailers’ compliance from the Essential Services Commission shows there was an alarming rise in the number of wrongful disconnections, which accounted ... Read More

Published under Energy and Water, Essential Services

Auditor General report supports call for better ‘middle years’ transition planning

19 March 2015  |  

Today’s report by the Auditor General provides further evidence to support VCOSS’ call for better ‘middle years’ transition planning for children moving from primary to secondary school. “Too many young Victorians are missing out on the opportunities that education can offer due to a lack of investment and support during the critical ‘middle years’, spanning Years 5 to 8,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “Victoria needs a strong and comprehensive framework to guide middle years transition that provides much better guidance to schools. The middle years are a time when children are entering ... Read More

Building community partnerships to Close the Gap

19 March 2015  |  

Closing the Gap in health and social outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians will require strong partnerships throughout the community and must be a priority for all sides of politics, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “All Victorians have a role to play in reducing health inequality for Victorian Aboriginal peoples,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “On National Close the Gap Day it is important that we see strong commitments from government and the community to work in partnership with Aboriginal controlled organisations to help remove the barriers to achieving health equality.” “Victorian ... Read More

Focus on therapeutic care the right approach for vulnerable children

16 March 2015  |  

Moving vulnerable children out of residential care and into home-based care is a welcome approach to strengthen therapeutic care and improve the lives of young people in the child protection system, according to the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Supporting children to move into kinship and foster care through individually tailored Flexible Support Packages will help improve therapeutic care within the child protection system,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The State Government should be commended for moving quickly to put $43 million over 4 years towards moving children out of ... Read More

Published under Children, Children and families

Blueprint for building a Victoria without poverty

12 March 2015  |  

The Victorian Council of Social Service is releasing its 2015-16 state budget submission today, describing it as a social blueprint to build a Victoria without poverty, through practical proposals that put people first and place community needs at the heart of decision making. The VCOSS plan, Building a Victoria without poverty, sets out 12 immediate spending priority areas for this year’s state budget, and presents a series of practical proposals to address some of the biggest social issues facing Victoria, including spiralling youth unemployment, growing educational disadvantage, increasing ... Read More

Published under Budget

Disadvantaged children need early childhood education and care

20 February 2015  |  

Today’s Productivity Commission report on Childcare and Early Learning contains positive recommendations about increasing access to early childhood education for children at risk of abuse and neglect, according to the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Children at risk of abuse and neglect benefit the most from high-quality early childhood education to improve their life chances, yet services trying to enroll and keep these children in care face a labyrinthine process of red tape, meaning too many children miss out,” said Mary Sayers, Deputy CEO of VCOSS. ”The Productivity Commission’s ... Read More

Stronger protections for energy customers a must

18 February 2015  |  

A review of the hardship practices of energy companies announced by the Andrews Government today will be an important opportunity to improve protections for Victorians who are struggling to meet spiralling electricity and gas costs, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Victorians are being disconnected from their energy supplies at alarming rates and numerous reports have shown that retailers need to do more to ensure people are not wrongfully disconnected or treated unfairly,” said Mary Sayers, Deputy CEO of VCOSS. “The review, to be conducted by Essential Services Commission, ... Read More

Published under Congress, cost of living, Energy and Water, Essential Services

Scathing report reveals true costs of schooling

11 February 2015  |  

A scathing report into the true costs of schooling reveals Victorian families are struggling to pay for items and activities that should be free. It must prompt swift action to assist families and help students remain in education, according to the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Today’s report by the Auditor-General confirms what VCOSS has been saying for some time: that rising school costs are hurting families, putting increased strain on community organisations and schools, and are a serious barrier to education,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “Victorian parents are also paying ... Read More

Published under Education

Investment in out-of-home care helps protect children

7 February 2015  |  

Moves to strengthen investment in Victoria’s out-of-home care system will help to address an urgent need to secure the safety and wellbeing of our most at-risk children and young people, according to the Victorian Council of Social Service. “After numerous reports documenting the systemic problems faced by Victoria’s child protection and out-of-home care, we commend the State Government for moving quickly to increase investment in our out-of-home care system,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The $19 million investment announced by the Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, will ... Read More

Published under Children and families

Reverse cuts to Youth Connections & Newstart

4 February 2015  |  

VCOSS welcomes calls by the Senate Select Committee into the Abbott Government's Budget Cuts to reinstate funding for Youth Connections and abandon proposed changes to Newstart. “This Senate report provides more evidence that the Federal Government has taken the wrong approach when it comes to tackling youth unemployment,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The cuts and changes proposed in last year’s Budget will exacerbate poverty and disadvantage and must be abandoned.” “Since 2010 the federally funded Youth Connections program has been highly successful in assisting vulnerable young ... Read More

Published under Budget, Workforce participation, Young people