2022 Victorian Protecting Children Awards

The Victorian Protecting Children Awards recognise dedicated teams, groups and individuals who demonstrate excellence in protecting children, young people and families.
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About the awards

The awards recognise practitioners, workers, carers and community members from across all areas of the Victorian child and family services system.

Foster, permanent and kinship carers, academics, policy, program, supervisory and direct service staff from community, government or academic organisations were encouraged to nominate anyone they believe goes above and beyond to ensure the wellbeing of children and young people.

Award finalists

The nomination, judging and screening period has now concluded. We are pleased to announce the 2022 Victorian Protecting Children Awards finalists:

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Wednesday 7 September 2022.

Congratulations to all the finalists and nominees. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a nomination, we received a new record of submissions this year.

Key dates

  • Nomination period:  11 April – 24 May
  • Judging period: 30 May – 20 June
  • Screening period: June – July
  • Finalists announced: July/August
  • Awards ceremony: Wednesday 7 September 2022.

Award categories

The 2022 Victorian Protecting Children Awards recognise excellence in the child and family services sector, as well as the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) Child Protection Awards.

Two of the pre-eminent Victorian Protecting Children Awards honour the memory of the visionary Robin Dennis Clark (1936 - 2001) who greatly influenced child and family related policy and practice in Victoria.

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.

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
  • 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.

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 and their families.

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 families 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 families, including supporting Aboriginal self-determination to achieve the best outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people and their families.

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 Innovation in Protecting Children

This award recognises an individual, team or group demonstrating innovative approaches and creative intervention to achieve the best possible outcomes for children, young people and their families.

This innovation 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 out-of-home care (including secure welfare services).

Examples of work may include:

  • developing new and innovative 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. 
Carer Award

This award recognises assessed and approved kinship, foster and permanent 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:

  • going above and beyond to provide 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.
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 winners of this award are 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.
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:

  • an individual, team or group which goes above and beyond the expectations of their role to assist 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.
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.

Find more information at the CREATE Foundation website.

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.

Find more information at The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare website.

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, team or group working in the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing child protection program who embodies best practice, commitment and leadership.