February 25, 2015  |  Members Statements

Child and Family Services Ballarat

Mr HOWARD(Buninyong) — Child and Family Services Ballarat, known as CAFS, is a community service organisation based in Ballarat. It provides a range of programs and services to children, young people and families who are vulnerable or in need of support. This year it celebrates 150 years since it first began, and I was pleased to join many CAFS staff, volunteers and clients at a celebration last week. CAFS dates back to 1865, when its founders established the Ballarat Orphanage. After the closure of the orphanage it became the Ballarat Children’s Home and more recently took its current name. Today CAFS provides programs and services which not only support children and young people but also support families, men and communities. These programs and services cover a wide range of family and early childhood services, family counselling, out-of-home care and support services, foster care, homelessness assistance, family violence intervention and men’s behavioural changes programs.

The goal of CAFS is to give every individual the optimal opportunity to live in a safe and nurturing family. CAFS now has more than 185 staff and 200 volunteers in offices in Ballarat, Ararat, Bacchus Marsh and Daylesford and provides help and support to more than 5000 individuals and families each year across the Victorian Central Highlands region. I commend CEO Allan Joy and board chair Shane Strachan, along with all staff and board members present and past and the many volunteers who have supported so many young people and families across our region.