Victorian Protecting Children Awards

The Victorian Protecting Children Awards recognise and celebrate individuals, teams and groups who demonstrate excellence in working with children, young people and families.

Nominations have now closed for the 2024 Victorian Protecting Children Awards. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit nominations.

Finalists for each award category will be announced in early August 2024.

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2024 Victorian Protecting Children Awards

About the awards

The annual Victorian Protecting Children Awards recognise and celebrate individuals, teams and groups who demonstrate excellence in working with children, young people and families. 

These prestigious awards have been running for 21 years, showcasing the incredible effort and passion across the Victorian child and family services sector and community.  

There are 12 categories open to nominations for those working across the child and family services sector, child protection, government and academic organisations, foster, kinship and permanent carers, volunteers and community members. 

Anyone can nominate people and teams for these awards to acknowledge their exceptional efforts to helping keep children and young people safe, and families strong in the Victorian community.

Key dates 2024

  • Nomination period (extended): Tuesday 5 March - Wednesday 10 April, 5:00 pm
  • Judging period: May
  • Screening period: June to July  
  • Finalists announced: early August
  • Awards ceremony: early September.

Award categories

Robin Clark Leadership Award

The winner of this pre-eminent award epitomises Robin Clark and her legacy of inspiring leadership and influential stewardship of child and family policy and practice in Victoria.

This award recognises an individual whose leadership inspires others to act wisely and care deeply about achieving the best outcomes for children, young people and their families or carers.

Nominees in this category have a distinguished track record as visionary and transformative leaders in practice, policy, research or education.

Examples of work may include:

  • a champion of system-wide reform leading to sustained improvement in the lives of children, young people and their families or carers
  • influencing the practice of others, through leadership, advocacy and mentoring
  • empowering Aboriginal self-determination and cultural safety to achieve the best outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people and their families or carers.

Nominees for the Robin Clark Leadership Award are highly respected individuals from government, the community or the children and families services sector.

Robin Clark Making a Difference Award

The team or group winners of this award embody Robin Clark’s vision and legacy of a well-connected community and service system contributing to better outcomes for children, young people and their families or carers.

This award recognises the exceptional contribution of a team or group of people who have worked to directly improve the lives of children, young people and their families or carers in Victoria. This can be in partnership or collaboration with government and non-government agencies.

The winners of this award strive to achieve excellence and their work shows insight, practicality and respect for the needs of children, young people and their families or carers, including supporting Aboriginal self-determination to achieve the best outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people and their families or carers.

Nominees will demonstrate outstanding creativity, courage and collaboration.

Examples of work may include:

  • providing expert, strategic advice to improve support and decision making for children and young people in care
  • championing the rights of carers, children and young people through the development and delivery of training, financial support, or new innovative models of care.

Note: nominees for the Robin Clark Making a Difference Award are teams and groups from government, the community or the children and families services sector.

Minister's Award for Excellence in Protecting Children

This award recognises an individual, team or group that have advanced their approach or intervention to achieve the best possible outcomes for children, young people and their families or carers.

These advances can be demonstrated across the child, youth and family services sector through case management, education, prevention and early intervention, or the provision of care to children and young people in care services (including secure welfare services).

Examples of work may include:

  • developing new programs, or strengthening existing programs to improve outcomes for at risk children and young people
  • working in different ways to achieve outcomes for high-risk youth
  • embedding sustainable change within organisational practices to create more opportunities for at risk children and young people
  • empowering Aboriginal self-determination and cultural safety to achieve the best outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people and their families or carers.
Foster Carer Award

This award recognises assessed and approved foster carers, both past and present, who have made a significant contribution to the lives of children and young people in care.

Examples of work may include:

  • providing exceptional care, support and stability to a child or young person
  • overcoming challenges to advocate for children and young people’s needs and creating a positive effect on young lives
  • demonstrating an understanding of the importance of connection to culture and kin for children and young people in care, and working with agencies and child protection to prioritise this connection
  • empowering Aboriginal self-determination and cultural safety to achieve the best outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people and their families or carers.
Kinship Carer Award

This award recognises assessed and approved kinship carers, both past and present, who have made a significant contribution to the lives of children and young people in care.

Examples of work may include:

  • providing exceptional care, support and stability to a child or young person
  • overcoming challenges to advocate for children and young people’s needs and creating a positive effect on young lives
  • demonstrating an understanding of the importance of connection to culture and kin for children and young people in care, and working with agencies and child protection to prioritise this connection
  • empowering Aboriginal self-determination and cultural safety to achieve the best outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people and their families or carers.
Engaging Kids in School Award

This award recognises education is fundamental to the development of individuals and families and helps build a strong community.

The winner of this award is an individual, team or group who have supported children and young people in their schooling journey or introduced young children to early years and pre-school programs.

Nominees are committed to the very best outcomes for children and young people and demonstrate their ability to work with the education and child protection systems.

Examples of work may include:

  • mentoring or supporting children in care to engage with schooling
  • developing creative approaches to bringing the education and child protection systems together
  • encouraging participation in early years and pre-school activities
  • encouraging access to mainstream education, vocational education (VET), job training or skill building programs
  • empowering Aboriginal self-determination and cultural safety to achieve the best outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people and their families or carers.
Keeping At Risk Young People Safe Award

This award recognises an individual, team or group that goes above and beyond to support at risk youth. 

The winner of this award prioritises empowering young people in the decision-making process and assists them to achieve their goals.

Examples of work may include:

  • assisting at risk young people with gaining access to the support they need. This may be for important life skills, independent living, employment pathways, education-based support, culturally appropriate care, mental health and substance abuse
  • implementation of programs that improve outcomes for at risk young people
  • empowering Aboriginal self-determination and cultural safety to achieve the best outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people and their families or carers.
CREATE Positive Impacts Award

This award gives Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children and young people aged 8 - 25 years the opportunity to nominate someone such as a carer, support worker or agency who has made a positive difference to their lives, particularly through assisting them to have a voice within the out-of-home care system.

Note: this award is managed by the CREATE Foundation and will be judged by a committee of children and young people.

For more information, visit the CREATE Positive Impacts Award page on the CREATE website.

To nominate for the CREATE Positive Impacts Award, use the online nomination form.

Child and Youth Empowerment Award – Commission for Children and Young People

This award was established by the Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People and recognises an individual, team or organisation who has achieved excellence in realising children’s and young people’s right to meaningfully participate in matters affecting them.

Note: this award is managed by the Commission for Children and Young People.

Leaving a Legacy Award

This award recognises the people who have made a significant contribution to the child, youth, and family services sector throughout their career as well as making an impact on their local community.

‘Leaving a Legacy’ acknowledges those who have positively contributed to the sector and whose remarkable achievements should be highlighted.

Note: this award is managed by The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.

Nominations are not open for this award. The winner is determined by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.

The Walda Blow Aboriginal Children and Young People Award

This award recognises contributions of an Aboriginal person, persons or organisations in Victoria to the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people.

Note: this award is managed by the Commission for Children and Young People.

Chief Practitioner’s Award

The Chief Practitioner’s Award recognises an individual working in the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing child protection program who embodies best practice, commitment and leadership.

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Previous award winners and finalists

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Contact

Victorian Protecting Children Awards Team

Phone: +61 3 9456 5660
Email: ProtectingChildren.Awards@dffh.vic.gov.au
Mail: GPO Box 1774 Melbourne 3001, Victoria, Australia