Communications and advocacy update: 9 June
9 June 2022
Here’s an update on a few of the issues AMA Victoria is working on for members, including:
- Children and Health Legislation Amendment (Statement of Recognition and Other Matters) Bill 2022 - update
- AIFS Sector Survey launch - Future-proofing Safety: COVID-19 and Family Violence in Victoria.
Children and Health Legislation Amendment (Statement of Recognition and Other Matters) Bill 2022 - update
The Victorian Government introduced the Children and Health Legislation Amendment (Statement of Recognition and Other Matters) Bill 2022 (Statement of Recognition Bill) this week, which includes an Aboriginal Statement of Recognition and accompanying principles. This was co-designed with membership of the Aboriginal Children’s Forum, through the tripartite agreement Wungurilwil Gapgapduir, comprising key Aboriginal community organisations providing child protection services.
It is intended the Statement and its principles will significantly advance self-determination in the child protection system and improve outcomes for Aboriginal children and families.
The Statement of Recognition Bill will expand the circumstances in which the Secretary of the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing can authorise Aboriginal agencies to deliver Children and Families Services under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, and allow greater information sharing with these agencies. This will support the Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care investigations and other similar initiatives to progress.
The Statement of Recognition Bill complements the Child Protection Bill that was introduced to Parliament on 5 October 2021. The Bill broadly proposes to update the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 to:
- Modernise the legislative framework and enhance early intervention, prevention and diversion.
- Elevate the right of the child.
- Advance Aboriginal self-determination and self-management.
- Promote permanency for children by reducing adversarial court proceedings and delays.
- Strengthen the system that protects children.
While we understand that Bill is yet to pass, it has not been withdrawn and remains on the agenda in the Legislative Council.
We will keep members updated regarding developments with these legislative reforms.
A copy of the proposed legislation is now available on the Parliamentary website here.
AIFS Sector Survey launch - Future-proofing Safety: COVID-19 and Family Violence in Victoria
The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has launched its Future-proofing Safety: COVID-19 and Family Violence in Victoria Sector Survey.
The AIFS is partnering with Drummond Street Services’ Centre for Family Research and Evaluation and RMIT University’s Centre for Innovative Justice to examine service interactions for people who experienced and used family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey will examine:
- Practitioners’ views on how client experiences of family violence changed during COVID-19.
- How client service needs changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and how services changed to meet these needs.
- The strengths and limitations of services to adapt to clients’ changing needs as well as practitioners’ views on key elements of disaster/crisis response plan for services.
Healthcare professionals working in Victorian organisations providing services to people who experienced or used family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2020 to present) in Victoria are invited to participate in this survey.
For further information: Future-proofing Safety: COVID-19 and family violence in Victoria 2020–21 | Australian Institute of Family Studies (aifs.gov.au).