Since our formation in 1877 Berry Street has had a commitment not just to the provision of social services but to social change. This commitment is reflected in our Strategic Directions 2027 through which we aim to make a long term impact on the underlying causes of child abuse, child neglect and family violence.

We understand that the underlying causes include, inequality, poverty, unemployment, unresolved trauma (which may be intergenerational), homelessness and substance misuse. We know that these underlying causes are interconnected, complex and manifest themselves in complex ways including in behaviours amongst children, young people and adults that are harmful to them and those around them. 

We know that there are responses which can help alleviate the symptoms and support people to cope, heal and return to good health. But we also want to prevent the harm from occurring in the first place. Read about our commitment to social change.

Public Policy and Advocacy Agenda 

Our public policy and advocacy agenda covers five broad areas. They reflect the breadth of our direct work with children and families and a need to tackle complex social and economic policy issues at the highest level. They span issues relating to childhood, children’s rights, family poverty, homelessness, education, violence, the negative consequences of colonisation on Aboriginal families, child abuse and child neglect. They are as follows:

Public Policy and Advocacy Agenda
Berry Street is committed to make a long term impact on the underlying causes of child abuse, child neglect and family violence.
Recent Advocacy Work
Berry Street consistently strives to use our knowledge and expertise to improve policies and programs. This includes submissions for Royal Commissions including the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Berry Street Employment - Capability Framework

Foster care, education, homelessness, children’s mental health and supporting young people’s employment are just some of the policy areas where Berry Street has produced policy papers – access them here.

Support Services and Advocacy Groups working with people affected by abuse:

Find and Connect

Phone: 1800 161 109

Open Place

Victoria’s Support Service for Forgotten Australians

Phone: 1800 779 379

Alliance for Forgotten Australians (AFA)

Note that AFA is a national advocacy organisation not a support service

Phone: (02) 6273 4885

Beyond Blue

Phone: 1300 22 4636


Phone: 13 11 14

SANE Australia Helpline

Phone: 1800 187 663

Suicide Call Back Service

Phone: 1300 659 467

Mensline (National)

Phone: 1300 789 978

Australian Psychological Society Referral Line

Phone: 1800 333 497


Phone: 1800 272 831

Blue Knot Helpline

Support for adults who have experienced childhood trauma and abuse.

Phone: 1300 657 380

Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN)

Phone: 1800 008 774