During 2006 the Victorian Department of Human Services developed the Vulnerable babies, children and young persons at risk of harm: best practice framework for acute health services. The Vulnerable Children Framework provides a resource for acute health services to assist health professionals to meet the needs of vulnerable children. Victoria’s acute health services have a key role in identifying and responding to harm and risk of harm to babies, children and young people. In addition, acute health services have a key role in working in an integrated way with community services, Child Protection, Victoria Police and the courts when there are concerns about safety, health, development and well being of vulnerable children.
The framework takes into account the need for information sharing, early intervention and consideration of cumulative harm.
The ‘Every Child Every Chance’ reforms aim to integrate a range of family support, early intervention and Child Protection services. The guiding principles of promoting the ‘best interests of the child’ are enshrined in The Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, enacted in April 2007. The Child Protection and Family Services Branch within the Office for Children and Victorian Health services bring together services to ensure the safety and well being of babies, children and young people at risk of harm, abuse or neglect.
During 2006, every Victorian hospital providing treatment and care for children nominated key individuals as Executive Sponsors and Clinical Leaders. This website, serves to provide these key individuals with educational material, information about services and forums for communication and collegiate support.