|Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function|
In March 1985 a Minister for Community Services was appointed and, under the provisions of the Administrative Arrangements Order No.17, the Department of Community Services assumed responsibility for all functions previously administered by the Department of Community Welfare Services. These functions included community services, community welfare programme family services, protective and substitute care, social policy and planning and the training of community welfare workers.
Transfer of Functions from the Department of Welfare
Following a review of the provision of health services many services which had been traditionally regarded as health services were redefined as community services and responsibility for these functions was transferred to the Department of Community Services.
Although these arrangements were initially executed under the provisions of a series of Administrative Arrangements Orders, these were subsequently revoked and the transfers of functions were validated under the provisions of the Health Amendment Act 1986 (No.10262).
The transfer of functions and the establishment of the Department of Community Services was intended to improve the planning, co-ordination and delivery of support and development services throughout the community by encouraging greater community involvement in the planning and management of such services, and by redressing social and economic inequalities.
Responsibilities of the Department included
Extended Family Care including:
substitute care including residential care centres, youth hostels, foster care, reception centres
child protective services including school attendance regulation (until 1987), refugee child care
statutory supervision and guardianship of children
Community Support including:
concessions to low income groups
community service funding
supported accommodation assistance including women's refuges and accommodation for homeless persons
home and community care
Youth Support Services including:
youth welfare services
court advisory services
youth probation and parole
guardianship of young offenders
youth accommodation and support
youth training centres.
Training and Certification: of child care, youth and welfare workers.
Policy and Planning: including social policy development and analysis, research and social planning.
Department of Health and Community Services
Following significant machinery of government changes after the election of a new Government in October 1992, the Department of Health and Community Services was established by Administrative Arrangements Order No.114. The Department of Health and Community Services assumed all functions from:
the Department of Community Services (VA 2633) including the Office of Pre-School and Child Care;
the Department of Health II (VA 2695);
the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and
the Older Person's Planning Office from the previous Ministry of Ethnic, Municipal and Community Affairs (VA 3015).
Following further significant machinery of government change after the election of the Government in April 1996, the Department of Health and Community Services was abolished. All functions were transferred to the Department of Human Services (VA 3970) on 3 April 1996 under Administrative Arrangements Order No.150.
Many of the Department's services are provided on a regional basis and it is the responsibility of the Regional Services Division to manage the delivery of Programmes through Community Services Victoria Regional Offices and facilities, local government, non government agencies and the community sector.