The Victorian Government is introducing new measures to help Victorian children and ensure they do not fall between the cracks of the system.
Legislation was passed early this week that allows health, education and family services to share information of those in their care. It is hoped that the new legislation will create more streamlined information sharing system, giving professional entities the tools they need to protect Victorian children. Health, education and family service entities – such as Maternal and Child Health, hospitals and schools – will be allowed to request and share information to better respond to the needs of children, creating a more collaborative, integrated system.
“We’re setting a benchmark for ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of children by giving professionals the tools they need to keep kids safe before it’s too late.”, stated Jenny Mikakos, the minister for Families and Children.
Workers at these services will be trained to understand the circumstances under which details can be shared, with only prescribed professionals having access to the information.
The changes are being introduced to respond to cases concerning the death of children and infants in recent years, as well as recommendations by the Coroners Court of Victoria, the Commission for Children and Young People amongst other things. The recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse also have influenced the government decision.
The move comes as the Labor Government continues implementing its $168 million Roadmap to Reform to shift the focus of child and family services from crisis response to prevention and early intervention.