Who are we
The Victorian Government has established eight Children and Youth Area Partnerships across Victoria to try a new approach to improving the life chances of children, young people and their families.
Area Partnerships bring together key leaders from across government, the health, education and community sectors, Victoria Police, business, philanthropy and the wider community to test and try new approaches which are sensitive to local needs. Together we will build a common understanding of what works and why, and share what we learn across government and communities.
The Area Partnerships unite government, services and community to:
- support children and young people’s learning and development from cradle to career
- build safe and supportive homes and communities.
Children and Youth Area Partnerships video
While the vast majority of children in Victoria have a good start in life, many fall behind their peers early and struggle to catch-up.
Our challenge is to identify and tackle the root causes of this vulnerability. We want every vulnerable child, young person and family to be able to access the support they need, where and when they need it.
While the causes of children and young people’s vulnerability are complex, the Area Partnerships have a unique role to play in tipping the scales back in their favour.
We use the Collective Impact framework to achieve lasting social change. This framework provides a simple structure to support effective collaboration between government, services and local communities to tackle complex problems.
Collective Impact recognises we can develop better local solutions to help Victoria’s most vulnerable by thinking about how the system operates rather than focusing on specific programs. Collective Impact draws on data and people’s real experiences of vulnerability to gain a better understanding the complex factors that contribute to poor outcomes.
Our approach also recognises that strengthening local communities’ ability to support each other is crucial to achieving lasting positive change.
Each Area Partnership is led by a steering group of key local leaders from:
- Victorian, Commonwealth and local governments
- community, health, justice and education services
- Victoria Police,
- Aboriginal communities and community controlled organisations and
- business, philanthropy and the wider community.
Guided by the Collective Impact framework, our steering groups meet regularly to:
- build a deeper understanding of the local factors contributing to poor outcomes
- determine a shared agenda relevant to their local communities
- share information, ideas and learning
- test and try new things to improve outcomes for children and share these innovations across government
- connect with existing collaborations, programs and services
- monitor and evaluate progress.
Our initiative is led and supported by the Children’s Services Coordination Board and the Victorian Children and Youth Implementation Group.
Our governance structure connects senior decision-makers from across government to the local work, innovation and learning of the Area Partnerships, to bring about system-wide change to benefit vulnerable children, young people and their families.
Backbone support for each Area Partnership is provided by a Principal Advisor, and by the central Vulnerable Children’s Reform Unit.