Victoria’s community services are getting greater support to seek out, listen to and act on the views and experiences of their clients to deliver safe and higher quality services.

Minister for Child Protection Luke Donnellan today released the Community Services Client Voice Framework, which promotes the importance of ensuring people who receive community services can influence the care and services they receive.

The framework is a new resource that supports every worker in the community services system to learn from the experiences of their clients and make changes to deliver better future outcomes.

Listening to the client is essential to improving the quality and safety of services. It gives everyone who receives community services a real say in all aspects of service design, delivery and development.

It will make a big difference for people receiving disability, family violence, housing and homelessness, child and family, child protection and community-based mental health and alcohol and drug services.

People with lived experience spanning all community services helped develop the framework. Their contributions are greatly appreciated and demonstrate the value of the lived experience in the way we work.

The framework guides the Government’s Voice of the child project giving vulnerable children and young people a chance to get involved and shape the policies and services that affect them.

And Victoria’s first Child Protection Ministerial Youth Advisory Group was established in partnership with the CREATE Foundation so young people in the child protection system have their voices heard directly by government.

Both initiatives mean we get a deeper insight into what it is like to be a child or young person in out-of-home care. This ensures children who cannot live at home are safe, appropriately supported and can reach their full potential.

Under the Labor Government’s Roadmap for Reform we are transforming the child and family services sector to increase our focus on early intervention, information sharing, culturally safe supports, extra staff training and the biggest-ever child protection workforce boost.

Key achievements so far include a new model for kinship care, supported by $116 million, and our $11 million Home Stretch program, extending the age of leaving care from 18 years to 21 years.