Transforming policy reforms into practice in the statutory family

Transforming policy reforms into practice in the statutory family – a case study of Victorian leaving care initiatives
Friday 27 July, 0930 – 1050

Abstract
Against a backdrop of major reforms across Child and Family services, a number of initiatives in Victoria have adopted collective impact and co-design approaches to address one of our most ‘wicked’ social problems: How do we best support young people to successfully transition to independence from out-of-home care? Young people transitioning from care to independence often lack the support and resources their peers receive from their families and communities. This can lead to poor social, educational and health outcomes. Young people transitioning from care need access to a range of coordinated, well communicated and specialised services and supports for their transition to be positive and ‘get them on track’ to independence. This means having effective and accessible supports and services across housing, education, employment and training, as well as a range of health services. To achieve this, policy and practice reforms will need to transcend government, education, health and community sectors and researchers, workers and policy makers will need to go beyond their expertise ‘backyards’ to communicate changes in policy and ensure effective implementation. The presenters in this symposium share their experiences of implementing policy and program reform across complex systems for young people with complex needs. From program and funding starts, to wind downs, what are the ‘in practice’ challenges of translating policy into ‘on the ground’ practice and what should be ‘business as usual’ in how we support young people transitioning from out-of-home?