Who is leading the change
- Family Safety Victoria
The Victorian Government ensure that the Sexually Abusive Behaviours Treatment Service and other suitable treatment programs are available for all age groups up to and including 17-year-olds and resource enhanced delivery of the programs across Victoria.
Victoria funds a state-wide Sexually Abusive Behaviour Treatment Service (SABTS) response. All services have been expanded to work with children and young people up to 17 years old.
In 2016, $2.45 million was provided in response to demand for the SABTS program.
In 2017 an additional $2.9 million over three years was provided to respond to increased demand for all SABTS providers, and $2.7 million over two years to expand existing SABTS to 15 to 17 year old’s. As a result of this funding, there are now consistent therapeutic treatments services across Victoria to work with children and young people aged under 18 years that have engaged in harmful sexual behaviours.
The 2019/20 State Budget provided funding of $9.4 million over four years, and $2.8 million ongoing funding to continue the delivery of consistent therapeutic treatments services across Victoria to work with children and young people aged under 18 years that have engaged in harmful sexual behaviours.
Legislative amendments to the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (the Act) commenced on 29 March 2019, extending the therapeutic treatment order regime to include children aged 15 to 17 years.
The amendments enable the Department of Health and Human Services’ child protection program to:
- receive and investigate reports in relation to children aged 15 to 17 years who have engaged in sexually abusive behaviours in addition to children aged 10 to 14 years
- apply to the Children’s Court for a therapeutic treatment order or a therapeutic treatment placement order application in relation to these children
- apply to the Children’s Court to extend an existing therapeutic treatment order beyond a child’s 18th birthday, where child protection has assessed this as appropriate
All 11 Victorian Government-funded SABTS providers receive referrals for children and young people up to 17 years, both as voluntary clients as well as mandated clients on therapeutic treatment orders.
Reviewed 17 May 2020