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Children, Youth & Families

Our services range from assistance for families and young people with relationship issues they are experiencing to residential care for children and young people who cannot reside at home with their parents or family.

Better Futures

What is the aim of the program?

Every young person leaving care deserves to have the best start to their adult life, and it is important that we provide them with the strategies and support they need to live independently.

Better Futures provides young people with support to transition to adulthood and a place to call home until they are 21 years of age. The program enables young people to have an active voice in their transition planning and provides individualised support both in-care and post-care across a range of life areas, including housing, health and wellbeing, education, employment, and community and cultural connections.

Better Futures includes:

Case work support
Information and advice
Access to flexible funding

The program provides an accommodation allowance, case work support and flexible funding to facilitate the young person’s access to education, employment and health and wellbeing support.

Home Stretch

Through Home Stretch, young people and their kinship and foster carers have the option of the young person remaining with their carer up to the age of 21 years, supported by an allowance (from the young person’s 18th birthday). Home Stretch includes three components; a financial allowance, case work support and flexible funding to facilitate the young person’s access to housing, education, employment, health and wellbeing support, and community connections.

Community Connections

Better Futures Community Connections establishes and maintains access to new pathways, networks, and resources within the community, so that young people can develop enabling, meaningful and sustained connections that will help them achieve their goals and support their transition to independence.

Who is the program for?

The Better Futures Program supports young people aged from 15 years and 9 months to 21 years who have been subject to certain DFFH Child Protection Orders or are residing in a Permanent Care arrangement.

How can you access the program?

The child protection case manager/contracted case manager/ ACAC case manager determines if you are eligible for a referral to Better Futures at 15 years and 9 months.

If you are on a permanent care order, Permanent Care and Adoptive Families or Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency can refer you to Better Futures and Home Stretch.

For self-referrals, please get in touch with our Better Futures intake team on 03 5021 6500 or at Betterfutures@masp.org.au to arrange an appointment.

Self Referral

Agency Referral

Permanent Care and Adoptive Families

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency

Youth Support Service (YSS)

What is the aim of the program?

MASP YSS is a 12-week voluntary program for young people aged 10–17 years who have had their first contact with the Police and are seeking support to make change in their lives. We aim to intervene rapidly to help young people address the underlying reasons for offending behaviour and link them in with supports and services that can divert them from the Youth and Criminal Justice Systems. YSS will provide support and services for young people according to their identified needs. 

The role of the YSS Case Worker includes:

  • Developing and actioning case plans in response to the young person’s identified needs.
  • Regularly assessing and seeking to understand the young person’s changing needs.
  • Assertive outreach.
  • Supporting and promoting connection to education, specialist health services, employment, and housing.
  • Contributing to a holistic case management approach for the young person.

How can you access the program?

Referrals can be made by contacting MASP YSS on 03 5021 6500. A young persons’ consent and basic details will be required to proceed with a referral, including their contact information. This is so that the YSS provider can contact the young person to progress the referral.

Self Referral

Agency Referral

Who is the program for?

This is an early intervention service. Young people in this program are not Child Protection or Youth Justice Clients.

The target group for YSS is:

Young people aged from 10-17 years who are not subject to Child Protective Services or Youth Justice interventions.
Are deemed at risk of becoming a client of the Youth Justice System.
Are in the early stages of contact with the Police.
Are voluntarily seeking support.

Youth Mentoring Program

What is the aim of the program?

The MASP Youth Mentoring program recruits adults from the local community to provide mentoring and support to the young people participating in the program. There is a strong focus on providing mentoring opportunities for young people who may be coping with difficult life circumstances and/or have limited access to positive adult role models.

Each year, the MASP Youth Mentoring Program supports 15-20 young people from diverse backgrounds to connect with a group of safe and supportive adults. Issues affecting young people are varied and may include disconnection from family, school, employment, and community; trauma from exposure to violence, abuse, and bullying behaviours; drug and alcohol misuse; mental and physical health issues; offending behaviours; living with a disability; social isolation and economic disadvantage.

Training provided to the mentors ensures that the young people are receiving the maximum benefit possible from the program, including:

  • Social interaction through group physical training sessions and shared goals.
  • One-on-one sessions to build social networks, trust and belonging.
  • Building confidence, self-esteem, and positive communication.
  • Developing life skills and core values to assist in everyday life, careers, and relationships.
  • Creating a ‘no fail’ environment that enables everyone’s potential to be realised.

Who is the program for?

Since its inception in 2006, MASP’s Youth Mentoring program has positively impacted the lives of over 220 young people aged between 15 and 17 years of age.
MASP’s proven 12-month mentoring program allows local disadvantaged and disengaged young people to successfully connect or re-connect themselves with family, education, and the community.

How can you access the program?

If you would like more information on the MASP Youth Mentoring Program as a Mentor, Mentee or a Sponsor please contact the Program Coordinator, Mark Jamieson, at mjamieson@masp.org.au                Mobile number: 0408 599 799 and Direct line: 03 5021 6544.

Self Referral

Our purpose in action

“Before I started the program, I was in a really bad place mentally and physically. I would just sit in bed all day and be so lazy and do absolutely nothing!

Now thanks to the program I feel much fitter and my mental health is really so much better. Before I started the program, I really depended on my mum, I didn’t like being social at all. But now thanks to a lot of the people in the program, I’m finally overcoming my social anxiety. I’m still getting there but it’s improved so much. I always look forward to the training sessions, they’re always the highlights of my week. I’ve never been a morning person… but Sunday morning training has helped me so much and it always makes me feel more motivated and I enjoy it so much. Honestly all together, the program has really helped and changed my life for the better. I really look forward to going away with all the amazing kind people I have met & bonded with in the program!”

*Information has been de-identified.

Family Services

What is the aim of the program?

Family Services enables the healthy development of children under the age of eighteen years, by promoting safe, stable, positive relationships in the child’s family home. The intention is to grow strong, healthy children and safe families by lending parents a helping hand.

Family Services helps families by:

  • Connecting and engaging in ways that suit the family culture.
  • Working on shared goals with parents and children.
  • Building upon family strengths and capabilities.
  • Helping parents to better understand and respond to the needs of their children.
  • Providing flexible visiting times to fit in with family life.
  • Modelling good communication, problem solving, and emotional regulation skills.
  • Supporting families in practical, emotional, and culturally sensitive ways.
  • Identifying and actioning pathways for early intervention.
  • Partnering with parents around child safety, and consulting with child protection when a child may need more help.

How can you access the program?

Child FIRST (Child and family information, referral and support teams) is the entry point into Family Services. Child FIRST teams are located across Victoria. In Mildura you can access Child FIRST at the Orange Door via attending 113 Madden Ave, Mildura or by telephoning 1800 290 943

Self Referral

Agency Referral

Who is the program for?

Family Services is targeted to families where:

There is a presence of family concerns or risk factors that impact or are likely to impact child development.
There is a likelihood that the family will become involved with child protection if problems are not addressed.
Parents are willing and able to work with a voluntary program.

Finding Solutions

What is the aim of the program?

Finding Solutions delivers programs to prevent family breakdown and entry into the child protection and out-of-home care systems.

The Finding Solutions program aims to:

  • Divert a significant proportion of young people deemed at risk of entering out-of-home care into alternative community-based services.
  • Support and strengthen family relationships in creative ways, including the use of groupwork, mediation and parent coaching.
  • Help parents and young people identify and resolve the issues that place their relationship at risk of breakdown and ease tensions in the family without severing links or reducing parents’ capacity to care for the young person.

How can you access the program?

All Finding Solutions referrals originate from either Child Protection Intake or Child First and will use the standard Finding Solutions referral form.

Completed referrals will be sent to findingsolutions@masp.org.au.  Referrals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Support and Transition Team Leader and Finding Solutions Worker. A completed Receipt of Referral will be sent to the original referrer informing them of the outcome.

Self Referral

Agency Referral

Who is the program for?

Eligible clients for Finding Solutions are:

Eligible clients for Finding Solutions are young people of secondary school age who are at risk of entering the child protection and out-of-home care system and their families.
Finding Solutions is a voluntary program, and clients must consent to being involved.
This is a prevention program. It should be noted that eligible clients for Finding Solutions are not child protection clients.

Family Reconciliation

What is the aim of the program?

The Family Reconciliation practitioner works with young people to address the issues of conflict between young people and their families, focusing on healing and restoring relationships to support young people in moving forward with their lives. The program supports both the young person and the parent/carers to build more positive relationships and prevent the relationships from breaking down.

Who is the program for?

The program supports young people aged 15 – 21 who reside with their family and are at risk of leaving the home or becoming homeless due to conflict within the home. The program also supports young people who have left home due to conflict and supports the young person and family to repair the relationship and support the young person to return to home.

How can you access the program?

You can access this program by completing the referral document and sending it to familyrec@masp.org.au

Self Referral

Agency Referral

Additional Programs

Youth Justice Community Support Service (YJCSS)

The MASP Youth Justice Community Support Service (YJCSS) provides integrated and intensive support and assistance to young people involved with youth justice. YJCSS complements the case management provided by youth justice workers. YJCSS responds to the complex and varied needs that young people can present with and is tailored to their unique circumstances.
Youth Justice Community Support Service operates across the Mallee catchment.

Early Childhood Development (ECD)

Early Childhood Development Program (ECD) strengthens integration, linkages and partnerships between early years’ service providers and The Orange Door/Child FIRST/Family Services to maximise access to early intervention services for vulnerable children and families.

ECD operates across the Mallee catchment.

Targeted Care Packages (TCP)

The TCP program designs and delivers individual support packages to assist young people who are exiting the Victorian residential care system, and to prevent children from entering the Victorian residential care system. TCP’s are based on the individual needs of children and young people in the program and are an opportunity to develop innovative and creative responses aimed at improving the safety and wellbeing of high needs children. Children accessing a TCP may reside in supported independent living, with family, in kinship care, or be returning to parental care.

The MASP TCP program operates across in the Mallee catchment. Referrals are via child protection.

Intensive Case Management (ICMS)

Intensive case management services respond to the needs of young people 12 to 18 years who demonstrate a high level of risk-taking behaviours and complex needs. The service works alongside Child Protection and provides high support, case management and youth outreach to engage young people to reduce risks. Young people accessing the service may live with family, friends, in out of home care services, or in supported independent living.

ICMS operates in the Mildura LGA

Foster Care

The MASP Foster Care program provides safe, nurturing, and supportive care arrangements for children and young people aged 0 -18 years who are unable to live with their parents or extended family. Foster care provides support for short periods, until children and young people can safely return to their families, and longer term care for those who cannot safely return home. Foster care relies on community volunteers who complete a foster care assessment, training, and regular supervision. The aim is for children to grow and thrive in safe, continuous, and stable homes with well-supported and equipped foster care families.

The MASP Foster Care program operates across the Mallee catchment.