Our department

Our department works to create a more inclusive society, one in which people feel safe and can take part equally.
On this page

Our department works to create a more inclusive society, one in which people feel safe and can take part equally.

We do this every day by supporting people and communities to:

  • have equitable access to opportunities
  • overcome struggles and hardships
  • recover from adversity.

We do this by taking steps to end issues like homelessness and family violence.

We work with people and communities to overcome challenges, create opportunities and build a fairer and safer Victoria, where everyone is valued.

We approach our work with the knowledge that collaboration and connection are essential to our success. This means with both the communities we serve and the people within our workforce.

We bring together our services and initiatives to support people at critical points in their lives and support all Victorians to get involved equally. This is how we make a difference.

This connection of service delivery, supports and initiatives benefits every Victorian. It is why we have brought these portfolios together into one department.

We develop, drive and deliver whole-of-government policy that has the wellbeing of all Victorians at its heart.

We drive key reform agendas across gender, equality, prevention of family violence, housing, children and inclusion.

We partner with sectors and listen to the voices of those with lived experience in these areas.

We respond to emergencies, including large-scale social and economic changes. We offer immediate and ongoing relief. We partner with communities to coordinate and tailor services for support and recovery.

We serve and support children and families, people experiencing family violence, housing and disability clients across the state, improving outcomes and creating a fairer and stronger Victoria. We work every day to keep individuals, children and families safe.

We are a complex department, with a wide reach across urban and regional areas. Our complexity is one of our strengths. It allows us to meet the different needs of our communities and gives us the ability to build our supports to meet people where they are.

Our department funds agencies, delivers services directly and works with commissions, peak bodies and other community organisations to provide a range of advice and supports. We work across the Victorian Government and with other governments in Australia to give high-quality and informed advice. We also give clear and unbiased advice to our ministers to assist in effective decision making.

We strive to keep improving the quality and safety of our services and listen to the voices and experiences of those who use them. We also monitor, assure quality and regulate these initiatives to support safe, effective, person-centred, connected delivery.

We aim to use all parts of our organisation to improve outcomes and better the lives of the people, families, communities and clients we serve.

Together we strive to build a fairer and safer Victoria for all.

Our structure

Reporting to the Secretary are:

  • Community Services Operations
    • North Division
    • South Division
    • East Division
    • West Division
  • Children, Families, Communities and Disability
  • Fairer Victoria
  • Readiness, Response and Emergency Management
  • Corporate and Delivery Services
  • Strategy and Regulation
  • Homes Victoria (Public Non-financial Corporation) and Associate Secretary
    • Executive Services
    • Legal Services
  • Engagement and Reform
  • Family Safety Victoria 
  • Analytics and Evidence (shared with Department of Health).

Our footprint

  • We have staff in offices right across metropolitan and regional Victoria.2

Our services

  • In 2021–22 we are providing more than $1.46 billion in service agreement funding to 920 agencies.3
  • We invest about $2.8 billion per year in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).4
  • We give grants funding to more than 2,000 multicultural community organisations.5
  • In 2019–20 our Secretary had parental responsibility for 12,727 children and young people in our child protection system.6
  • In 2019–20 we helped 115,168 clients to address and prevent homelessness, with almost half of these seeking support due to family violence.7
  • Since 2018 The Orange Door network has helped more than 140,000 Victorians, including more than 55,000 children.8
  • In 2019–20 the elder abuse statewide helpline received 3,303 calls for support, information referral or advice.9
  • We helped in 40,451 family services cases in 2019–20.10
  • We supported community members affected by emergencies with more than $1.1 million in Personal Hardship Assistance Payments across 2020–21.11

Our funded initiatives 2020-21

Victorian State Budget 2020-21 output initiatives – Department of Families, Fairness and Housing ($ million)

12 Source: Victorian Budget Paper 3 2021–22, p. 46

Child protection and family services

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

Early intervention and diversion

15.6

25.9

16.5

12.3

Maintaining the foundations of the children and families system

263.9

243.0

249.5

247.4

Putting Families First

5.3

6.2

6.3

Reforming care services

53.4

13.2

16.5

18.6

Community participation

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

Building better connected communities

1.8

0.4

0.4

0.4

Good Money

3.8

3.5

3.6

3.7

Public health and local place‑based delivery

152.9

Responding to community‑based healthcare demand

2.2

1.1

1.1

1.1

Disability services

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

Changing Places

2.5

Support for regulators and complaints handling bodies

12.4

11.0

Family violence service delivery

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

Central Information Point

12.9

Family Violence Graduate Program

0.5

0.7

Information sharing and family violence risk assessment and management reform

26.9

28.6

23.5

18.0

Intervening early to prevent family violence

1.2

1.2

Perpetrator accountability

12.8

1.7

1.8

1.8

Pets in refuges and crisis accommodation

0.6

0.2

0.2

0.2

Responses for children and young people impacted by family violence and sexual assault

14.1

9.7

10.0

10.3

Support for victim survivors of family violence and sexual assault

21.9

9.1

9.3

8.7

Housing assistance

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

Critical additional responses for people experiencing homelessness placed in hotels during the coronavirus (COVID‑19) pandemic

19.5

11.5

(11.6)

(2.5)

Homelessness services

46.7

53.0

46.4

47.6

Paving the Way Forward: pathway to recovery at North Melbourne and Flemington housing estates

2.4

3.1

0.5

0.5

Tackling rough sleeping

5.9

8.1

10.2

2.0

LGBTIQ+ equality policy and programs

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

LGBTIQ+ Grants Program

1.0

Melbourne Pride 2021

1.0

Multicultural affairs policy and programs

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

Enhanced engagement approach with CALD communities and complex families

23.8

Multicultural Festivals and Events Program

1.1

Multicultural seniors grants

2.0

2.0

2.0

2.0

Recovery together: jobs and stimulus initiatives for Victoria’s multicultural communities

4.4

0.1

Supporting improved settlement outcomes

4.5

1.4

1.4

1.4

Tackling racism in Victoria head‑on

0.6

0.6

0.3

 Office for Disability

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

Building inclusive and safe communities for Victorians with disability

8.1

0.3

0.4

0.4

Seniors programs and participation

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

Elder abuse primary prevention, health service response and early intervention

1.0

Support to veterans in Victoria

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

Shrine of Remembrance

3.3

2.7

Supporting veterans

0.8

0.7

0.4

0.4

Women’s policy

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

Improving outcomes for women in Victoria: strengthening Victoria’s economic recovery through women’s participation

2.1

2.1

Youth

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

Engaging and supporting at‑risk young people

9.2

9.2

Strengthening youth participation and connection

3.7

3.2

Total output initiatives

43.3

714.0

430.3

397.7

376.9

Source: Department of Treasury and Finance

Note: Table may not add due to rounding.

Victorian State Budget 2020-21 asset initiatives – Department of Families, Fairness and Housing ($ million)

13 Source: Victorian Budget Paper 3 2021–22, p. 58

Child protection and family services

Initiative

2020–21

2021–22

2022–23

2023–24

2024–25

TEI

Maintaining the foundations of the children and families system

1.5

1.5

1.6

4.6

Total asset initiatives

1.5

1.5

1.6

4.6

Source: Department of Treasury and Finance

Our stories – High-Risk Accommodation Response

The High-Risk Accommodation Response (HRAR) is the department’s primary program supporting accommodation where the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission is higher. This includes public housing estates.

As of August 202114 this encompasses around 30,000 facilities and dwellings including:

  • 57 high-rise public housing towers

  • more than 1,400 other public housing locations

  • 117 Supported Residential Services.

It also includes community housing residences, rooming houses, disability residential settings in collaboration with the Commonwealth and caravan parks with long-term residents.

We work with 24 community health providers across 31 local catchments to ensure public health measures are always in place. These measures protect the safety and wellbeing of residents. We also work to ensure residents and facility managers get timely, culturally appropriate and accessible services. This includes health and social services, infection prevention control, cleaning, coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, food and essential supplies, and community engagement strategies.

Genuine community engagement is the core of the HRAR program. The program works with residents who are best placed to identify, communicate and manage the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in their community. The approach aims to support residents to make informed public health–related decisions. To do this, we provide public health and service information that is clear, accessible and culturally, linguistically and religiously appropriate.

References

2 Source: Internal data from the Systems Analysis Program (SAP), June 2021

3 Source: Internal data from the Service Agreement Management System (SAMS), July 2021

4 Source: Victorian Budget 2020/21: The Hon Luke Donnellan MP Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, 18 June 2021

5 Source: Internal data from the department’s grant management system, July 2021

6 Source: Internal data from the Client Relationship Information System (CRIS), July 2021

7 Source: Department of Health and Human Services 2020, Annual report 2019–20, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne

8 Source: Premier’s Media release, ‘Orange Door Coming To Outer Eastern Melbourne’, 1 July 2021

9 Source: COTA Victoria 2020, 2019–20 annual report, COTA, Melbourne

10 Source: Department of Health and Human Services 2020, Annual report 2019–20, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne

11 Source: Internal data from the Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP) system, July 2021

12 Source: Victorian Budget Paper 3 2021–22, p. 46

13 Source: Victorian Budget Paper 3 2021–22, p. 58

14 Source: Internal data from High-Risk Accommodation Response (HRAR), 09 August 2021