The Victorian Protecting Children Awards recognise practitioners, workers, carers and community members from across all areas of the Victorian child and family services system. The Awards recognise excellence in 14 categories and we’re proud that Power to Kids was highly commended in the 2021 Minister's Award for Innovation in Protecting Children.

This award recognises an individual, team or group demonstrating innovative approaches and creative intervention to achieve the best possible outcomes for children, young people and their families. This innovation can be demonstrated across the child, youth and family services sector through case management, education, prevention and early intervention, or the provision of care to children and young people in out-of-home care.

Power to Kids is an action-learning project to co-design, implement and evaluate an innovative approach that prevents and intervenes early in harmful sexual behaviour, child sexual exploitation and dating violence in residential care. It was piloted over a three-year period in four MacKillop residential care homes. The voices of young people shaped and refined the program. MacKillop carers also influenced the program design through regular feedback sessions with the project team. An evaluation showed there were positive shifts on each outcome measure. Children and young people demonstrated improved sexual health and safety and had better relationships with carers.

Congratulations to everyone nominated, the Awards are a testament to the extraordinary work being done and benefitting young Victorians.