Anglicare Victoria has welcomed most of the 90 recommendations made in the Cummins report to improve outcomes for Victoria’s vulnerable children but has expressed  some reservations about the lack of clear benchmarks in the report  to tackle the system’s stubborn problems.
Anglicare Victoria CEO Mr Paul McDonald said the report highlighted the extent of system challenges  and noted the report’s findings that it will take “significant investment” to improve outcomes for vulnerable children.
“In tighter economic times, government always considers its priorities, and with the report estimating that the cost to community for vulnerable children sits at around $2 billion, it is important that investment is committed to addressing the challenges that are seeing vulnerable children struggle  against a range of benchmarks,” Mr McDonald said.

“We welcome a number of the recommendations in this report, including a greater emphasis on the education and health systems sharing responsibility for the wellbeing of children who have suffered abuse or neglect.”
Mr McDonald welcomed other recommendations including the decentralisation of the Children’s Court and ongoing support for young people over 18 lacking the right support and skills to live independently.
However, Mr McDonald warned that not all recommendations were  a step in the right direction and that an increase in mandatory reporting, as recommended by the report, could further hobble an already stretched system.

“An increase in mandatory reporting will not be helpful. The system currently does a good job of having the right children at greatest risk reported to it. What it doesn’t do so well is create the right first response.  This recommendation will detract from this aim.”

Mr McDonald called on the Government to work together with the service sector to draw up a road map to achieve the changes recommended in the report.

”We welcome any opportunity to work alongside government to achieve better outcomes for disadvantaged children and families across the State.”



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