In this issue:                                                                     July, 2014

MAV Home and Community Care (HACC) forum
Family Day Care
Central enrolment for kindergarten
Universal access to 15 hours kindergarten
Draft Productivity Commission report into childcare
Children in Out of Home Care
Mayoral Forum: settlement of asylum seekers and refugees
Save the date: multicultural policy development conference

HACC Access and Support services
Improving local government language services
Which council services are eligible for free TIS National interpreting?
Submissions open for Services Connect Partnerships
Aboriginal employment in HACC services

Cultural diversity and the arts
Health and wellbeing
Casserole Club pilot
Changing Places Changing Lives forum
2014 Victorian Health Promotion Foundation Awards
Events

MAV Home and Community Care (HACC) forum

On 28 August mayors, MAV representatives, CEOs and senior executives are invited to a HACC forum.

Minister for Health and Ageing, David Davis, will address councils regarding the reforms taking place in the HACC program. The forum will include a discussion about the progress to date in MAV’s negotiations with the Commonwealth and options moving forward.

It will be held at the Windsor Hotel, 111 Spring Street, Melbourne from 2pm-3.30pm. Registration information has been sent directly to councils.

For further information, contact Clare Hargreaves.

Family Day Care

The MAV held a meeting of councils and the Commonwealth Department of Education to discuss the changes to the Community Support Program as it affects Family Day Care.

The meeting was well attended and there was robust discussion about the impacts and opportunities from these changes. The Department announced there will be a new tool to assist services to determine their eligibility for CSP funding.

Minister Ley has written to all services stating that the government has worked closely with peak bodies in the Family Day Care sector to develop a Business Development Package.

For further information, contact Wendy Allan at the MAV, or the Department of Education.

Central enrolment for kindergarten

On 23 March, the Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development announced a $1.2 million grant for the MAV to work with councils to improve central enrolment for kindergarten programs.

This will allow better support access for vulnerable families as an initiative under the DEECD Early Years Strategic Plan.

The MAV will keep councils informed on the progress of this project. For further information, contact Jan Barrett.

Universal access to 15 hours kindergarten

The Review of the National Partnership on Early Childhood Education has still not been released but the MAV has been advised this is imminent and will keep councils informed of its progress.

The MAV will be seeking commitment in our Call to Parties state election 2014 for recurrent government funding for 15 hours of kindergarten. Both the Senate Committee Reports and the Productivity Commission Draft Report support the continuation of Commonwealth funding for 15 hours.

For further information, contact Jan Barrett.

Draft Productivity Commission report into childcare

The Productivity Commission (PC) released its draft inquiry report on Childcare and Early Childhood Learning on 22 July.

Public hearings will be held on 18-19 August and the MAV will be attending. The PC is seeking submissions on the draft report by 5 September with the final report presented to government by 31 October.

The draft report states that its recommendations seek to make childcare more affordable, flexible and accessible and to provide a more financially sustainable childcare system for taxpayers into the future. It concludes that the current system does not meet the needs of all families and the costs of the system are increasing at an unsustainable rate.

Key recommendations include:

  • A continuation of government support for access to preschool for all children in the year before starting school
  • The National Quality Framework (NQF) to be retained, modified and extended to all government-funded services, but that it needs to be more flexible and targeted for the types of services provided
  • Combining the current multiple care subsidies into a single means-tested Early Care and Learning Subsidy with a ‘top up’ subsidy for a children with additional needs
  • Low income families would see around 90 per cent of their reasonable childcare fees paid tapering down to 30 per cent for families earning over $300,000
  • Nannies being eligible for childcare subsidies subject to appropriate qualifications (au pairs would not be eligible).

For further information, contact Wendy Allan.

Children in Out of Home Care

Progress continues on the planning for a range of strategies and activities to support the implementation of the agreed roles and responsibilities for each of the signatories to this agreement.

A central implementation team has been established comprising membership from all the signatories, with the MAV representing local government. The purpose of this group is to oversee the statewide implementation and promotion of the OoHC Agreement and this group is supported by DEECD Central Office.

For further information, contact Wendy Allan.

Mayoral Forum: settlement of asylum seekers and refugees

Local government plays an instrumental role in the settlement of asylum seekers and refugees in communities. In recognition of the service pressures this can create, the City of Greater Dandenong will be hosting a Mayoral Forum on 6 August at 10.30am.

The event can be attended by mayors, senior council staff, peak bodies and elected officials. This forum will provide an opportunity to share experiences, issues and concerns regarding the local impact of adequately meeting the needs of asylum seekers.

It will also offer an opportunity to seek high level agreement on key elements of a joint response to the Federal Government on increased resourcing to meet this need.

To RSVP for this event, contact Kathni Cumine on 8571 5199.

For further questions or additional information please contact Sharon Sykes on 8571 5387.

Save the date: multicultural policy development conference

The MAV is now well advanced in planning its inaugural biannual multicultural policy development conference for Victorian local government managers and officers.

It will be hosted by Wyndham City Council at the Werribee Civic Centre on 12 September from 9am-5pm.

The conference aims to develop clearer understandings of the potential leadership role of local government in municipal settlement planning, CALD community relations, and access and equity. It will also explore opportunities for closer partnerships with other levels of government and the community sector.

A promotional flyer including registration details will be circulated to councils soon.

For further information, contact Con Pagonis.

HACC Access and Support services

The Access and Support Program (A&S) provides short-term, individualised support to HACC eligible people who experience barriers to accessing HACC, including different beliefs and values including cultural and linguistic diversity (CALD).

The HACC program has a focus on five special needs groups that may experience particular difficulty in gaining access to HACC services: people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and CALD backgrounds, people living with dementia, those living in isolated and remote areas, and people experiencing financial insecurity (including people who experience homelessness or are at risk of homelessness).

Councils offering aged care and disability services are encouraged to network effectively with A&S agencies.

For further information, contact Con Pagonis.

Improving local government language services

The Multicultural Language Services program is a key initiative of the Victorian Government, aimed at improving interpreting and translating services for Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

A range of initiatives are in place to help increase the supply of interpreters and translators in Victoria, and to optimise the use of language services by government providers.

Improving the provision of language services will help to make local government services more accessible to Victorians with limited English language proficiency.

Which council services are eligible for free TIS National interpreting?

The Australian Government aims to achieve fairer access to government services and programs through its Access and Equity strategy.

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) provides free interpreting services to non-English speaking Australian citizens and permanent residents communicating with approved groups and individuals on behalf of the Department of Social Services.

Free services are delivered through TIS National to a range of service providers including local councils who communicate with non-English speaking residents on issues such as rates, garbage collection and urban services.

Submissions open for Services Connect Partnerships

On 3 July, the Department of Human Services opened submissions for groups of non-government service providers to establish Services Connect Partnerships. These partnerships will collaborate with the government to test, refine and develop the Services Connect model.

Services Connect is the new model for integrated human services in Victoria. It is designed to connect people with the right support, address the whole range of a person’s or family’s needs, and help people build their capabilities to improve their lives.

Up to eight Services Connect Partnerships will be established, bringing together groups of service providers to lead, coordinate and integrate service delivery in a DHS Area.

The department is looking for proposals from groups of service providers to deliver services for people who may need support with mental health issues, alcohol and drug issues, family violence, and homelessness, among many other possibilities.

Submissions close at 2pm on Thursday 14 August.

Aboriginal employment in HACC services

Funding is available through the Commonwealth ‘Building an Indigenous Workforce in Community Care’ initiative for HACC Aboriginal training.

The MAV is available to support councils and help increase the number of Aboriginal staff across the full range of council services, including HACC services.

Funding will be allocated on a submission basis to councils recruiting Aboriginal people to HACC roles, and is to be used for new Aboriginal HACC worker's training and professional development.

Uses for the funding include Certificate III in HACC/Aged Care, literacy and numeracy support, computer skills, and health and safety training.

Additional workforce development activities that are not listed above can be negotiated provided they support the employment and retention of Aboriginal staff.

For further information, contact Lidia Thorpe.

Cultural diversity and the arts

This year’s annual VLGMIN forum for local government professionals will focus on arts and culture.

Our partners in developing the program are the Cultural Development Network and Multicultural Arts Victoria. It will be held in Ballarat at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka.

Our target audience is all local government officers who have responsibility for the cultural development of their local communities including interested councillors, arts and culture program managers and staff, event coordinators, curators, producers and planners.

This year’s forum seeks to develop the knowledge and skills of local government arts and cultural development professionals. The forum will feature research findings, case studies and include opportunities for deliberations and networking.

More details on the program to follow soon, but please get relevant colleagues to save the date in the meantime – Thursday 30 October.

Health and wellbeing

Parks Victoria has released its Shaping Our Future document. One of the strategic document’s key actions is to ensure that future contracts for food provision in parks requires a variety of healthy, locally produced, and reasonably priced food options.

This action may have far reaching impacts and may be a trigger for conversations about public facilities and food provision across government.

For more information, contact Jan Black.

Casserole Club pilot

Casserole Club is a project that connects people who like to cook and are happy to share an extra portion with older neighbours living close by who could benefit from a home cooked meal.

With funding from the Department of Health, the MAV is exploring the Casserole concept pilot in three council areas over the next 12 months. Boroondara, Macedon Ranges and Moreland councils will work with the MAV on the project, each identifying a neighbourhood area as the locality for the Casserole Club pilot.

The project will test a range of technical and local issues with FutureGovUK, the technology company that developed the concept, with the aim for a broader roll out across Victoria in future years.

Changing Places Changing Lives forum

The MAV is supporting an upcoming event, Changing Places Changing Lives, which showcases best practice in accessible toilet and bathroom facilities.

Led by Maroondah City Council, the City of Melbourne, and the Planning Institute of Australia, the forum will provide information on the benefits of incorporating Changing Places toilets into the design of public spaces.

Targeted at planners, designers, facility managers and policy makers, the forum will be addressed by a range of speakers and have product displays.

It’s on 11 September at Deakin Edge, Federation Square from 10am-2pm.

2014 Victorian Health Promotion Foundation Awards

Nominations have opened for the 2014 Victorian Health Promotion Foundation Awards – Victoria’s only awards recognising the state’s world-class innovative and successful health promotion work.

Entries are invited from state and local governments, health agencies, non-government, not-for-profit and private sector organisations. All of Victoria’s leading health promotion projects – from large programs with a broad reach, to the best health promotion ideas at a local level are encouraged to enter.

Entries close Friday 28 August.

Other news in the health space is VicHealth’s new Active for Life resource that brings together Australian and international research to challenge thinking and inform ways to increase children’s physical activity at school, through sport, within communities and in the home, to benefit children aged 4 – 12 years.

Local government has an important role to play in creating more opportunities for children to be active in their neighbourhoods, and to support a safer, better-connected community. By taking action today, we can start to create a better future for our children, and get them active for life.

Upcoming MAV events...

14 August

MAV Technology Annual Conference 2014

21 August

Procurement Planning and Specification Development

27 August

The company directors course

 

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