Commission for Children and Young People report into contact and extra-curricular activities

12 April 2024
The Commission for Children and Young People (the Commission) conducts monitoring activities through onsite visits at residential care services across operational divisions in regional and metropolitan settings, managed by different care service providers.

The Commission’s “series 5” report has been completed following discussions with children and young people about their experiences relating to participation in activities and contact with family and friends. 

Children and young people living at eight residential care homes across Victoria were interviewed between August and October 2023. 

The Commission’s report outlined three recommendations. 

  1. That residential care workers and care teams are supported to embed proactive conversations with children and young people about their interest in participating in activities in the community into their case practice.

  2. That all Aboriginal children and young people are provided regular opportunities to connect to their community and culture, including Return to Country visits.

  3. That opportunities are improved for children and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to connect to their community and culture.

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (the department) advised it will: 

  • Share the Commission’s report with all residential care providers to continue to improve practice in relation to extra-curricular activities and contact and to undertake activities that promote young people’s rights under the Charter for Children in Out of Home Care.

  • Ensure the department’s Agency Performance and System Support teams discuss with residential care providers how residential workers and care teams can be supported to build proactive conversations with young people into their case practice in relation to participating in activities.

  • Continue to monitor and incorporate questions about extra-curricular activities including participating in activities related to cultural engagement, into its performance audits carried out by the Compliance and Quality audit team.

  • Finalise and implement a brokerage policy framework to extend the use of funding to support the implementation of cultural support plans including visiting family who reside outside of Victoria. This policy framework is currently with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation stakeholders for consultation.