Vulnerable families: Healthcare That Counts project

In 2017, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released the Healthcare that counts (HCTC): A framework for improving care for vulnerable children in Victorian health services. The HCTC framework was developed to support all Victorian health services to strengthen their response to children at risk of abuse or neglect and drive system-wide improvements to deliver coordinated and high-quality care.

DHHS provided resources to pilot an implementation approach for the HCTC Framework in the Loddon area. This was a collaborative project between the three Primary Care Partnerships (PCP) in Loddon – Central Victoria PCP, Bendigo Loddon PCP and Campaspe PCP alongside the Loddon Children and Youth Area Partnership. A collaborative approach between these partnerships can result in greater efficiency, less duplicated effort, more access to resources and increased political and lobbying strength.






The final report and summary have been submitted to DHHS, Child Health and Wellbeing Reform. This report includes an evaluation of the model, project activities,  enablers and barriers, links to the resources developed and recommendations.

Interactive referral pathways

A referral pathway and local service directory for vulnerable children has been developed for the participating organisations as part of this project.

Training for health services staff

Training was developed and delivered to frontline staff and managers on identifying and responding to vulnerable children in the healthcare setting.

The training package was developed between the HCTC Project Coordinators and the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare in response to needs identified through a staff awareness survey, HCTC organisational self-assessments, discussions with Clinical Change Champions in the six participating organisations, and feedback from the HCTC forum held in November 2018.

Overall, the training was highly successful with strong results on raised confidence in the workplace in relation to frontline staff and manager’s roles around vulnerable children and families. “It was an amazing seminar and I would definitely recommend it.”

The powerpoint presentations are available for:

  • Managers – leading the way- vulnerable children and families
  • Frontline staff – identifying and responding to vulnerable children and families

Healthcare That Counts forum

The Healthcare the Counts forum was held in Bendigo (Nov 2018) promoting improved healthcare and responses to vulnerable children and their families.  The forum was attended by 56 executives, managers and staff representing 25 health and related services across the Loddon area, including 11 people from DHHS.

Attendees said the forum significantly raised their awareness of the HCTC framework and their responsibilities to protect vulnerable children and families. Attendees highly praised the calibre and presentations of the four key speakers at the forum: Assistant Director Child Protection (Loddon Area) Shane Wilson, DHHS Loddon Area Director Nathan Chapman, Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People (Victoria) Liana Buchanan and Echuca Regional Health’s Aboriginal Liaison Officer Sonya Parsons.

Resource development




Central Victoria Prevention & Population Health acknowledges the traditional owners on whose land we live and work, their rich culture and spiritual connection to country. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and celebrate their living culture and unique role in the life of our catchment.

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