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About us

Children and Youth Area Partnerships: working in partnership to improve the safety and learning outcomes of children, young people and their families in their local community.

What are Children and Youth Area Partnerships?

Children and Youth Area Partnerships (Area Partnerships) are an initiative to improve the outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and their families at the local level – to ensure all Victorians can experience a happy, healthy and safe childhood.

Victoria is a good place to grow up in.  Most children and young people are safe and do well.  They engage in learning and local community activities such as sport and recreation.  They and their families can access the supports they need to achieve their potential. 
 
However we know some children and young people do not fare as well as their peers.  Place is a contributing factor, the level of socio economic disadvantage and the access to services in a local community can affect the outcomes for children and young people.  There are also a range of risk and protective factors that can impact on development and wellbeing.  For example family violence is a key risk for children and young people.
  • On average participation in four year old kindergarten across Victoria is high at 98%, but for Aboriginal children this drops to 80.1% and in some areas participation is as low as 62%.
  • In 2012, 9.5% of Victorian children were vulnerable in two or more domains when they started primary school.  These figures For Aboriginal children the figure was 23.2% and for children whose language background is other than English the figure is 14%.
  • In 2013, 86.9% of young people, aged 19 years, finished year 12 or equivalent. A Create Foundation survey in 2009 found that only 35% of young people over 18 years who have been in out-of-home care had completed year 12.
  • 36% of family violence incidents in Victoria took place where children and young people aged 0–17 years were present
Despite genuine and dedicated efforts made by government, service providers and community members, there are still too many children, young people and families who are falling through the gaps and are not receiving the support they need to achieve their potential.

Our goal is to work differently to achieve sustainable change. 

In May 2014, eight Area Partnerships were established across about half of state, with representatives in a local area from Commonwealth, state and local governments, community service organisations, health, education and justice sectors and the broader community.

The purpose of Area Partnerships is to reduce the level of vulnerability experienced by children and young people by working with each local community to develop approaches that drive system-level change. 

To do this, they will focus on identifying actions that:

  • support the learning and development of all children and young people, particularly those who are at risk of dropping out of school or have already left; and
  • create safe and supportive communities and environments in which children live free of abuse and neglect.

Area Partnerships are located in Central Highlands, Inner Gippsland, Outer Eastern Melbourne, Mallee, Ovens Murray, Loddon, Southern Melbourne and Western Melbourne.

What will it take to keep our children and young people safe from harm and to have every opportunity to succeed in life?