Children, youth and family services - coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find information to support people who work with children, young people and families during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

COVIDSafe Settings are now in place across Victoria.

On this page

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Plan for Family and Community Services

This plan contains detailed information on Targeted Action for department funded Child and Family Services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This plan has been developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, based on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Plan for the Victorian Community Services Sector, to inform more detailed planning and provide specific guidance on emerging response needs for Child and Family Services.

Increasing support for vulnerable children and families during coronavirus (COVID-19)

A $77.5 million funding package will help provide additional support to vulnerable children and families across Victoria amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

For more information, see Carers and children in care.

Family Finding (COVID-19)

A COVID Family Finding service has been established to undertake early conversations with at risk parent/s following their diagnoses of COVID-19, and support them pre-plan alternative care arrangements for their children in the event they become unwell and require hospitalisation.
If you are engaging with vulnerable families where a parent/s test positive to COVID-19 and believe they may be benefit from this service, please refer to the Family Finding Factsheet (PDF) for more information. Referrals for Aboriginal families can be made directly to VACCA using the VACCA Covid Finding Family Referral Form (Word). Referrals to Uniting Vic Tas for non-Aboriginal families, and families from CALD backgrounds can be made via email as per the details in the factsheet.

For more information about Family Finding, please contact VACCA or Uniting Vic Tas directly.

Practice advice to support young people in Care Services during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Child protection: Information and advice for sector partners during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Home and community care program for younger people

Plan for care services (out of home care)

This plan contains detailed information on targeted action for care services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This information sheet provides responses to commonly asked questions from care services providers regarding planning and responding to COVID-19.

Supporting young people in care services

This document has been prepared for carers, residential care workers, lead tenant volunteers and case managers to guide support for young people in Care Services to comply with stay at home directions during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Early Parenting Centres (EPCs)

This document provides guidance to Early Parenting Centres (EPCs) to support the continued delivery of services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic via safe and alternative means.

New parents - advice for child and family services

This document provides advice for child and family services about COVID-19 and new parents.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Home Stretch initiative

The Home Stretch initiative provided support for young people turning 18 and due to leave care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

Now, the program is universal. In January 2021, Victoria was the first state in Australia to extend Home Stretch to all young people leaving foster, kinship and residential care up to the age of 21, with the government investing $75 million over four years and ongoing funding in the 2020-21 Victorian State Budget. 

From July 2021, the program has expanded even further to include every young adult on permanent care orders following an investment of $38.9 million over four years and $13.8 million ongoing funding in the 2021-22 Victorian State Budget.

  • Information on Home Stretch for workers can be found on the Providers website 
  • Information on Home Stretch for young people and carers can be found on the Services website 

Capacity for contingency/emergency placements

This guidance sets out key messages for care service providers, Placement Coordination Units (PCU) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) operational divisions about:

  • Access to additional funding for contingency arrangements to support children and young people in care during coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • The ways in which additional funding can be used to support children and young people who are in, or entering, residential care and are positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), a close contact or awaiting rest results. This includes to support self-isolation in their existing placement or an alternative contingency arrangement where required.

The guidance is effective for the remainder of 2020-21.

Respite and in-home support guidance

This guidance outlines respite and in-home support for foster and kinship carers:

Flexible funding for carers

Additional resources for cleaning, safety and wellbeing