New group to inform children and youth policy implementation
The State Children’s Services Coordination Board (CSCB) has established the Victorian Children and Youth Implementation Group. The group will advise CSCB on the implementation of Victoria’s Vulnerable Children: Our Shared Responsibility Strategy 2013-2022. The MAV has been invited to participate in the group, which will oversight the whole-of-government policy and program work being undertaken by the Vulnerable Children Reform Unit.
The Vulnerable Children Strategy requires the CSCB to establish local networks to achieve a wider vision for improved service coordination, design and delivery between Government departments, service providers and service users, through an area-based governance approach. The MAV will consult with councils prior to a model being adopted by the State. An initial discussion was held at the DEECD-MAV roundtable with council representatives in October.
For further information contact Clare Hargreaves.
Maternal and Child Health ICT update
The MAV and the Local Government Information and Communications Technology Group held a workshop on 27 September to scope Maternal and Child Health (MCH) information and communications technology (ICT) issues.
The workshop looked at the features of an expression of interest (EOI) process for suppliers to design a new data management system for MCH Services. Attendees represented local government, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) and other stakeholders, and agreed to sector-wide EOI approach.
Councils are being regularly updated on the EOI via MAV CEO emails. All councils have been sent a request form to supply details of their current system usage, which we would appreciate being returned to MAV Procurement by Wednesday 13 November. For more information contact Joanne Fittock.
Age-friendly cities and communities was the focus of the inaugural National Local Government Conference held in Canberra on 9 October.
Sponsored by the ACT Government, the event attracted councils from across Australia. The day provided an opportunity to hear about the diverse activities and strategic initiatives being rolled out by local government and others around Australia. The MAV presented our highly successful Improved Liveability for Older People in Small Towns project.
The MAV is undertaking a preliminary investigation into the Casserole Club concept. The micro-volunteering concept links older people with local volunteers who are willing to prepare and deliver or share a meal. Working with FutureGov UK, the MAV will explore the potential of the project in Victoria in early 2014.
Contact Jan Bruce for more information.
The MAV and the Department of Health are continuing to develop negotiation points in an attempt to retain Victorian strengths in the home and community care system as it moves to the Commonwealth.
Consultation meetings have been held between the Commonwealth’s transition team and the MAV, and other peak bodies representing provider and consumer interests. The Commonwealth is expected to release a consultation paper on the proposed design of the Home Support Program by early 2014, with further opportunity for feedback.
The Commonwealth has offered to hold a meeting specifically with Victorian councils to discuss features the sector would like to see retained in Victoria. The meeting will be convened by the MAV. For further information contact Derryn Wilson.
Early Years Conference November - valuing the partnership
The Valuing the Partnership: MAV & DEECD Early Years Conference will be held on Tuesday 19 November. The conference promotes the positive outcomes of local government and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development working together in the implementation of policy initiatives, funding solutions, and practical strategies to support vulnerable children and their families. A range of speakers including Minister Wendy Lovell and the MAV President will address delegates.
This free event is open to councils and DEECD staff, and lunch will be provided. Register now to avoid disappointment. For more information contact Wendy Allan.
$20m New Children’s Facilities Capital Grants announced
The Hon. Wendy Lovell, Minister for Housing and Minister for Children and Early Childhood has announced a new children’s facilities capital grants round for new integrated children’s centres (up to $1.6m); new early learning facilities (up to $650k); early learning upgrades (up to $350k); and minor infrastructure grants (up to $10k).
Priorities for the first three grant categories include increasing capacity to meet local demand for 15 hours kindergarten, location of early years services close to or on school sites, in growth suburbs and to provide services for vulnerable children. Councils will be expected to contribute funds in these categories. Expressions of interest close on 29 November. Organisations will then be invited in mid-December to submit a detailed application by 21 February with completion of projects required after two years.
Minor infrastructure grants will support small indoor/outdoor upgrades that enhance the quality of kindergarten programs. Applications close on 19 November.
MAV has been working with DEECD to simplify and streamline the application process, ensure more flexible grants can be offered, and exemptions from the previous requirement for childcare if over supply can be demonstrated locally.
Further information contact Jan Barrett.
Kindergarten Information Management System update
The MAV has been part of a working group developing the new Kindergarten Information Management System (KIM). KIM is an online, web-based system for kindergarten funding applications, data collection, and reporting. It streamlines the data collection process, and covers information on enrolments, program settings, participation rates, and workforce.
Phase 1 has commenced with Phase 2, a service-wide shift to the KIM system, planned for December 2013, in time for the 2014 kindergarten year. The 25 councils delivering kindergarten services will be invited to attend a KIM system training course in December.
The MAV will also be working with DEECD and councils so that local government can receive KIM data to aid planning, and explore how council central enrolment systems could potentially link to this system in the future.
Contact Wendy Allan for more information.
Victorian Local Government Preventing Violence Against Women Forum
The MAV and VicHealth are hosting an exciting forum at the Windsor Hotel on Wednesday 18 December. The program’s keynote speakers include the Hon. Mary Wooldridge, Minister for Mental Health, Community Services and Disability Services and Reform; the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Ken Lay APM; and comedic health promoter Nelly Thomas as MC.
The forum is designed for those councils just starting out on their journey to prevent violence against women, and those more progressed. It will showcase councils’ innovative work and includes a workshop on ways to successfully argue the case for preventing violence against women and gender equity. The full program will be available shortly on the MAV website.
Book online here. If you are from a small council and find the $65 registration fee cost prohibitive please contact Kellie Nagle.
Aboriginal Employment Project
The MAV has signed up to the Racism. It Stops with Me campaign. The aim of the National Anti-Racism Strategy is to promote a clear understanding in the Australian community of what racism is, and how it can be prevented and reduced.
The MAV Aboriginal employment eNewsletter was well received with over 800 hits to the Indigenous section of the MAV website - an increase of over 600 hits. The new eNewsletter provides information on what is happening in the Aboriginal community, and supports councils with helpful tools and resources to improve Aboriginal employment and engagement.
An Aboriginal employment forum for councils’ human resource managers and directors is also planned for the end of November. More details will be released soon.
For further information regarding the project, or to subscribe to the MAV Aboriginal employment eNewsletter, contact Lidia Thorpe.
Youth focused grants
Eligible councils in rural and regional Victoria can apply for up to $30 000 in funding through the Local Government Youth Inclusion Grants. Five grants are available this round for use towards establishing or expanding youth advisory services in rural and regional Victoria.
The Local Government Youth Inclusion Grants Program aims to increase the involvement of young people in local government and local community decision making. Eighteen councils have already received grants under the program. Submissions close Friday 22 November.
National Youth Week also takes place next year from 4 - 13 April 2014. Grants of up to $2 000 will be available to assist groups of young people working with a local organisation, council or school, to organise and run activities of their choice to celebrate the week. Applications for National Youth Week 2014 grants close on Wednesday 20 November.
Insurance gap in volunteer injury expenses
Human services are a major user of volunteers. A recent incident highlighted the need to bring to your attention that volunteers’ out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred as a result of an injury while volunteering are not covered by MAV Insurance’s Liability Mutual Insurance (LMI) policy.
Personal accident insurance for volunteers does not provide protection. Workers Compensation legislation also does not provide coverage, unless the volunteer is considered a worker under one of the special categories of the Act, such as for emergency workers.
Unless the injured volunteer has private health insurance, they will not be covered for any medical expenses that are not covered by Medicare.
Members can take out personal accident insurance for their volunteers. However, this will only cover things like loss of wages and will not cover medical expenses resulting from an injury.
It is recommended that members consider informing existing and new volunteers that they will not have coverage for these out-of-pocket medical expenses if they are injured.
In the meantime, the MAV will consider the advocacy opportunities to argue for the coverage of volunteers to local government in the same way that volunteers of charitable organisations receive protection under the Private Health (Health Insurance Business) Rules 2010.
This information has been provided in more detail to councils’ risk managers via the September MAV Insurance Bulletin. For more information contact Derryn Wilson.
Data Vic is an online Victorian Government data directory. The Victorian Government released the DataVic Access Policy in August 2012 which has enabled the sharing of Victorian Government generated or owned data in this format. The directory provides public access to data from a range of government agencies, which is progressively being supplied on the website. Current data categories are Education; Recreation; Community; Science & Technology; Employment; Society; Health; Spatial Data; Environment; Business; Planning; and Communication.
The content and functionality of the website is regularly reviewed. Active involvement is encouraged to continually improve the site and data available. You can participate in blog posts, comment on datasets or data tools, send feedback and suggest new datasets.
Information forum – Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants
Applications for Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants opened on Monday 21 October and close on Friday 21 February.
Victorian councils can apply for grants of up to $250 000 to help fund development of new or existing infrastructure to help increase community safety, security and confidence in public places. This can include lighting systems, other physical security or safety measures, streetscape and amenity improvements, and public place CCTV systems.
The Department of Justice’s Community Crime Prevention Unit, in partnership with the MAV and LGPro, is holding an information forum on Wednesday 6 November. Council staff will hear about principles, practices and issues for consideration in developing public safety infrastructure, and tips on writing grant applications. Don’t miss out, register by Thursday 31 October.
Health and Social Planners VicHealth Survey
VicHealth has designed a survey to determine whether the VicHealth Indicators Survey products have been useful in Health and Social Planners’ work. Data will also inform future data collection priorities and the development of other resources for local government.
On behalf of VicHealth, the MAV requests that all Health and Social Planners please complete the VicHealth survey.
Game Changer Workshop
The Department of Health presents Game Changer - Evolving our approach to prevention. The one-day workshop, held on Friday 29 November, will focus on prevention as part of the World Diabetes Congress to be held in Melbourne from 2 - 6 December.
Bringing together policy makers, researchers and population health practitioners, the interactive event explores the future of community-based obesity prevention initiatives.
Keynote speakers include the Hon David Davis MP, Minister for Health, Victoria; Dr Jean-Michel Borys MD, Co-founder and Co-director of the EPODE programme and the EPODE European Network, France; Professor Boyd Swinburn, Alfred Deakin Professor; Co-Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention Deakin University, and Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health, University of Auckland; and Mark Williams, Manager OPAL State Co-ordination Unit, SA Health.
Click here for more information or to register.