Children and young people living at seven residential care homes across Victoria were interviewed between October and December 2022.
The Commission’s report outlined five opportunities for improvement. The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (the department) advised it will:
Review the Program Requirements for Residential Care in Victoria and explore opportunities to further improve guidance on expectations of service providers and supports provided to children and young people including clothing and luggage needs following exit from care through leaving care planning and support. The department hopes to complete this by the end of 2023.
Continue to support residential care providers to ensure their resources, including information given to young people when arriving at a new placement, are child-friendly and understood by the children and young people.
Communicate the Commission’s findings via the Funded Agency Channel newsletter and website to highlight best practice guidance to service providers and reinforce the expectations of service providers when children and young people are in their care. These messages and guidance will be reinforced through the department’s Operational Divisions.
Provide feedback to residential care providers through the Compliance & Quality Audit team via performance audits so the needs of children and young people living in residential care are met. The needs include the satisfactory provision of clothing and transportation of belongings when children enter and leave residential care.
The department will share the Commission’s report with all residential care providers to continue to improve practice in relation to clothing and luggage and to undertake activities that promote young people’s rights under the Charter.