A new helpline established to provide timely support to permanent carers has been launched by the Andrews Labor Government.
Manned by qualified staff, the helpline will provide greater support for permanent carers, as well as referral, advocacy and advice to assist them to look after the children and young people in their care, an official press release said on April 3.
The Labor Government committed $600,000 to fund the helpline, which will be managed by Permanent Care and Adoptive Families.
Permanent carers provide a stable and secure family life for children who cannot live with their own families. As at 30 June 2016, there were over 2200 children and young people in permanent care in Victoria.
Last year the Government announced a $7.2 million package to provide greater support to permanent carers.
This included flexible funding for carers to cover expenses related to a child’s educational, health and medical needs, to assist with contact between parents, siblings, and family members, to help in preserving cultural identity, and for costs related to respite care and child care.
This funding is part of the Government’s Roadmap for Reform changes that were introduced to shift the children and family services system from crisis response to prevention and early intervention.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said, “Permanent carers do so much for Victorian children and young people, and this helpline will give them some extra support. It forms part of our plan to shift the family services sector from one of crisis management to early intervention and prevention.”
The permanent care helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on 03 9020 1833.