Young people and out-of-home care in rural and
regional Victoria
Presentation to the 2014 Out-of-home Care Summit –
Dr Jes...
Our vision is for a Victorian
community that values and
provides opportunity,
participation, justice and equity
for all yo...
What does
YACVic look like?
312 members, approx half of them young people
Recent work
“What makes you
tweet?” How
government and
community
organisations can
use social media
to engage young
people...
As of 30 June 2012, 6207 Victorian children and young
people were in care.
Lowest rates of children in care in Australia, ...
CREATE survey (2013) found Victorian young people in
care:
•60% had had only 1 or 2 placements
•Around half said they’d ha...
•Rural children and young people are around 30% of the
young population and 47% of the out-of-home care
population in Vict...
Indigenous children 10 times more likely to be the
subject of a substantiation of abuse or neglect than non-
Indigenous ch...
Rural areas marked by higher rates of socio-economic
disadvantage, and poorer access to child protection
workers, children...
Each year approx. 400 Victorian young people turn 18
and must transition out of care.
“care leavers tend to be socially ex...
In his work on rural care-leavers, Philip Mendes notes the
risks they face include:
• Transport disadvantage
• Difficultie...
The report of the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable
Children Inquiry was tabled in February 2012. 90
recommended reforms. S...
2013 Service Sector Reform report, released by the
Victorian Government and written by Prof. Peter Shergold
AC. This repor...
Ongoing questions
Early stages, but big questions around:
- How to deliver services that are both wrap-around
/ integrated...
References and
further reading
- Maggie Allen, Into the mainstream: Care leavers entering work,
education and Training, Jo...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Dr Jessie Mitchell - Youth Affairs Council of Victoria - Young people and out-of-home care in rural and regional communities

608 views

Published on

Jessie Mitchell delivered the presentation at the 2014 Out of Home Care Summit.

The 2014 Out of Home Care Summit featured highly interactive sessions and a series of four half-day targeted streams covering the current, topical issues in Out of Home Care across Australia. Showcasing innovative solutions and viable strategies, the Summit focused on the highly practical nature of affecting change within the sector.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://www.informa.com.au/outofhome14

Published in: Healthcare, Health & Medicine
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
608
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
10
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Dr Jessie Mitchell - Youth Affairs Council of Victoria - Young people and out-of-home care in rural and regional communities

  1. 1. Young people and out-of-home care in rural and regional Victoria Presentation to the 2014 Out-of-home Care Summit – Dr Jessie Mitchell Youth Affairs Council of Victoria
  2. 2. Our vision is for a Victorian community that values and provides opportunity, participation, justice and equity for all young people. YACVic is the state peak body for young people and the youth sector. YACVic is a vibrant, member-based organisation that has worked for and with young Victorians and the services that support them for over 50 years. YACVic provides professional support for services assisting young people, policy advice to the Victorian Government and community, and opportunities for young people to take the lead on issues of importance to them.
  3. 3. What does YACVic look like? 312 members, approx half of them young people
  4. 4. Recent work “What makes you tweet?” How government and community organisations can use social media to engage young people Yerp – the Youth Engagement toolkit www.yerp.org.au Cop That: a youth-led research piece to improve youth / police relationships Building the Scaffolding: Strengthening support for young people in Victoria – with VCOSS – state-wide youth sector survey Youth consultations on urban planning, to inform the Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Strategy YOUth Untitled – young people’s forum Yerp – the Youth Engagement toolkit www.yerp.org.au Supporting the sector through the Code of Ethical Practice
  5. 5. As of 30 June 2012, 6207 Victorian children and young people were in care. Lowest rates of children in care in Australia, but over past decade numbers have increased by 46%. Involvement in the protection system can be ongoing: in 2012, 26% of Victorian children and young people in care had been there 2-5 years. 32% had been there five years or more. In 2012 children aged 10-14 comprised 29% of those on care and protection orders in Victoria. Young people aged 15-17 comprised 20%. Of those children who exited out-of-home care in Victoria, 22% were aged 10-14, and 27% were aged 15- 17. (See YACVic, ‘Rural young people and out of home care’, 2013, http://www.yacvic.org.au/policy- publications/publications-listed-by-policy-area/35-youth-justice-and-child-protection/462-rural-young- people-and-out-of-home-care-a-yacvic-discussion-paper-2 ) Out-of-home care in Victoria
  6. 6. CREATE survey (2013) found Victorian young people in care: •60% had had only 1 or 2 placements •Around half said they’d had a say in where they were living •40% reported a strong connection with one or two caseworkers •70% could see their caseworker as often as required. How many young people are empowered in their leaving care plans, or understand the plans developed for them? Vulnerability and isolation are ongoing concerns. (See YACVic, ‘Rural young people and out of home care’, 2013, http://www.yacvic.org.au/policy- publications/publications-listed-by-policy-area/35-youth-justice-and-child-protection/462-rural-young-people-and- out-of-home-care-a-yacvic-discussion-paper-2 ) Young people in care
  7. 7. •Rural children and young people are around 30% of the young population and 47% of the out-of-home care population in Victoria. •Rural children taken into care at double the metro rate – 3.3 per 1,000 children in Melbourne, 7.6 per 1,000 in rural Victoria. •Gippsland (in the east) and Loddon Mallee (north-west) have double the average Victorian rate of child protection reports each year. •Highest rates of children in care are in Gippsland (9.7 per 1,000), Grampians (8.9 per 1,000) and Loddon Mallee (7.4 per 1,000). (See YACVic, ‘Rural young people and out of home care’, 2013, http://www.yacvic.org.au/policy-publications/publications-listed- by-policy-area/35-youth-justice-and-child-protection/462-rural-young-people-and-out-of-home-care-a-yacvic-discussion-paper-2 ) Rural and regional Victoria
  8. 8. Indigenous children 10 times more likely to be the subject of a substantiation of abuse or neglect than non- Indigenous children. Highest rate of Indigenous child protection reports is in Loddon Mallee, then Northern and Western Melbourne, then Gippsland. Indigenous children in rural areas more likely to be placed according to the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle than those in Melbourne, although declining in both areas. (See YACVic, ‘Rural young people and out of home care’, 2013, http://www.yacvic.org.au/policy- publications/publications-listed-by-policy-area/35-youth-justice-and-child-protection/462-rural- young-people-and-out-of-home-care-a-yacvic-discussion-paper-2 ) Indigenous children and young people
  9. 9. Rural areas marked by higher rates of socio-economic disadvantage, and poorer access to child protection workers, children’s court, family services, placement and support, and generalist youth workers. Barriers include: •Difficulties attracting qualified staff •Travel and distance •Shortages of dedicated after-hours services •Shortages of appropriate, local child placements, especially in smaller rural communities •Travel barriers to young people and families accessing multiple supports •Funding models not responsive to rural circumstances •Need for more flexible learning options •Ethical / professional dilemmas for working with young people in care in a small rural community Rural disadvantage and service shortages
  10. 10. Each year approx. 400 Victorian young people turn 18 and must transition out of care. “care leavers tend to be socially excluded from participation in mainstream social, economic, political, and cultural systems. In particular, they lack access to informal social networks such as extended family, family friends, school-based supports, youth friendship groups, and local sporting, cultural and religious groups.” - Philip Mendes, “Examining the experiences of young people transitioning from out-of-home care in rural Victoria”, Rural Society, vol.21, no.3, June 2012, p.198 Leaving Care
  11. 11. In his work on rural care-leavers, Philip Mendes notes the risks they face include: • Transport disadvantage • Difficulties in accessing support to maintain tenancies and live independently • Limited options for employment and education; • Loss of friends to the cities; • Isolation for young people living in remote farming districts; and – • Stigma in small communities. However, greater likelihood of being involved in the life of a rural community, some sense by young people that rural / regional services are more engaged and caring. Leaving care in a rural community
  12. 12. The report of the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry was tabled in February 2012. 90 recommended reforms. Strong emphasis on rural disadvantage, including service shortages and concentration of services. Whole-of-government response, and strategy: Victoria’s Vulnerable Children: Our Shared Responsibility. Key commitments concern: -Slow the growth of numbers of children in care -Draw together support packages and simplify access to services -Better service coordination -Future service delivery to be guided by trends in population growth and service usage. -Needs of children and young people in the family to be considered by adult services. -Establish a Commission for Children and Young People and separate Indigenous commissioner. Current policy space – Victoria
  13. 13. 2013 Service Sector Reform report, released by the Victorian Government and written by Prof. Peter Shergold AC. This report has a broad focus on how government and community services can better work together to improve the lives of vulnerable Victorians. Key focus areas include: •Enhancing the productivity of the services sector •Facilitating more collaborative design of service delivery, engaging service providers as equal partners •Flexible and integrated service delivery •Outcomes-focused funding •Focus on the most troubled families •Developing new models of local area governance. Implementation to be overseen by a Community Sector Reform Council. Includes equal representation of government and community sector. Broader policy space
  14. 14. Ongoing questions Early stages, but big questions around: - How to deliver services that are both wrap-around / integrated and competitive - How to ensure ‘young people’ do not get lost within policy making and program design with a focus on vulnerable children and families - How to ensure localised governance and service design in Victoria’s 17 new ‘local areas’ takes into account smaller rural communities - Ensuring the focus on service in growth areas is responsive to rural need / inequalities - Need for ongoing professional support around cultural competency for services assisting Indigenous children and young people - How all of this will function in a federal and state environment where funding is tight and many services face an uncertain future. YACVic continues to advocate for strong resourcing for youth service sector coordination networks at a local area level, to ensure collaborative, evidence-based design of support to vulnerable young people.
  15. 15. References and further reading - Maggie Allen, Into the mainstream: Care leavers entering work, education and Training, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2003 - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Child protection Australia 2008–09 and 2011-12, Canberra, January 2010 and 2013 - Richard Coverdale, Postcode Justice: Rural and Regional Disadvantage in the Administration of the Law in Victoria, Melbourne, Deakin University, 2011 - Paula Jervis-Tracey, Lesley Chenoweth, Donna McAuliffe, Barry O'Connor and Daniela Stehlik, “Managing tensions in statutory professional practice: living and working in rural and remote communities”, Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, vol.22 no.2, 2012 - Joseph J. McDowall, Experiencing Out-of-Home Care in Australia: The Views of Children and Young People, for CREATE Foundation, (CREATE REPORT CARD 2013), Sydney, 2013 - Philip Mendes, “Addressing the Housing Needs of Young People Transitioning from State Out of Home Care in Rural Victoria: A Case Study of St Luke's Anglicare in Bendigo,” Parity, vol. 23, no. 5, July 2010 - Philip Mendes, “Examining the health and mental health care needs and experiences of a group of young people transitioning from out of home care in rural Victoria”, Communities, Children and Families Australia, vol.6, no.1, June 2012 - Philip Mendes, “Young people transitioning from state out-of-home care: Jumping hoops to access employment”, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Family Matters, no.83, 2009 - Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry: community submissions, 2011, available at http://www.childprotectioninquiry.vic.gov.au/submissions.html - Report of the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry, Volumes 1 & 2, The Honourable Philip Cummins (Chair), Emeritus Professor Dorothy Scott OAM, Mr Bill Scales AO, Melbourne, published by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, State Government of Victoria, January 2012

×