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2023/24 Victorian Budget for children and families

Message from Annette Lancy,

Acting Deputy Secretary; Children and Families


I’m pleased to advise you on the key investments for child protection and family services in the 2023/24 Victorian Budget, announced by the Treasurer on Tuesday 23 May 2023.

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the incredible work of Victoria’s community services organisations (CSOs), Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), Child Protection Practitioners, and other services, who work with children and families experiencing vulnerability.

2023/24 Victorian Budget

The 2023/24 Victorian Budget provides $895.3 million over four years for the child protection and family services portfolio, addressing critical priorities across the children and families system.

The Budget invests in significant reform, with major investments in residential care, and to help Aboriginal-led organisations provide vital services and support to keep families together. 

In addition, the 2023/24 Victorian Budget provides targeted investment in new and innovative services, takes the next steps to modernise key ICT systems for frontline workers and provides support for community services organisations facing cost pressures to continue their important work.

Care Services

The 2023/24 Victorian Budget invests $548.4 million over four years to deliver improved outcomes for children in residential care. Key initiatives will deliver:

  • access to a base level of therapeutic supports for all children in residential care by 2025/26
  • ongoing funding for more than 50 young people to be supported in a total of 25 two and three-bed therapeutic residential care homes providing smaller home-like environments with more attention from staff and with education, vocational and therapeutic supports
  • ongoing funding for targeted care packages, which support children to live in suitable care arrangements and prevent entry into residential care
  • additional supports to prevent and address child sexual exploitation, including expanding the department’s Sexual Exploitation Practice Leads (SEPLs) to all 17 DFFH Areas across the state.

The 2023/24 Victorian Budget also invests $32.5 million over four years for 'Housing First' for young people leaving residential care, through a new outcomes-based Partnership that will provide housing and wrap around support for first three years after leaving care for up to 225 young people with complex needs.

Stronger Families – Closing the Gap by transforming the children and families service system

The 2023/24 Victorian Budget invests $140 million over four years towards stronger families and transforming the system to reduce the over‑representation of Aboriginal children and families in child protection and family services.

This investment will support Aboriginal-led services for Aboriginal children and families ranging from prevention and early help support to Victoria’s landmark Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care program.  Key initiatives will deliver:

  • 144 additional Koorie Supported Playgroups each year by 2025/26, supporting approximately 1400 families
  • Aboriginal led Family Services innovations aimed at diverting families from the child protection system, supporting up to 330 additional Aboriginal families a year by 2025/26
  • 85 additional Aboriginal families receiving the Aboriginal Family Preservation and Reunification response each year by 2026/27 
  • expansion of the Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care program to an additional 774 children authorised to an ACCO by the end of 2026/27
  • funding over three years from 2024/25 to continue and expand the trial of Community Protecting Boorais, supporting 348 children by 2026/27
  • ACCO organisational development supports.

Other highlights of the 2023/24 Victorian Budget:

  • $73.7 million over two years for the settlement of civil claims for historical institutional abuse including $4.6 million in 2023/24 for the co-design and preparation for implementation of the Victorian Redress Scheme (Pre 1990 Care Leavers)
  • $55 million over four years for supporting community sector jobs by assisting with cost pressures facing CSOs; and $15 million over two years for the Fair Jobs Code Transition Fund
  • $14.4 million over two years for development of a business case to replace the Integrated Client and Case Management System (ICCMS) supporting detailed planning and design work to replace critical children and families legacy systems with modern, integrated systems that support a more client and family centred model of care
  • $11.2 million in 2023/24 to continue the Early Help Family Services trial with family services working alongside universal services to address parenting challenges and build parenting capacity
  • $5 million in 2023/24 to support progressive reform in Youth Justice, with early intervention, diversion and family therapy programs for young people aged 10 to 11 years old.

You can read the Victorian Government media statement at: Doing What Matters To Keep Victorians Safe | Premier of Victoria

You can get more information, including the budget papers and access to all Victorian Government 2023/24 Victorian Budget media statements, through the Department of Treasury and Finance website. 2023-24 State Budget | Department of Treasury and Finance Victoria (

I look forward to working with all our partner organisations to implement the outcomes of the 2023/24 Victorian Budget and thank you for all your work to support children and families.

Best regards

Annette Lancy
A/g Deputy Secretary, Children and Families
Department of Families, Fairness and Housing