A multi-million dollar investment in improving child protection services is coming to Melbourne’s west, with new programs to be trialled in Brimbank.

Families and Children’s minister, Jenny Mikakos, last week announced $6.1 million in funding to test a range of evidence-based programs to better protect children and keep them out of the child protection system.

MacKillop’s Australian-first Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Psych intervention program will run across Brimbank and surrounding areas, and focuses on a range of issues, including family conflict resolution for new and expecting parents, emotional awareness and addressing anti-social, suicidal and violent behaviour.

Ms Mikakos said it was important to address issues before they became serious.

“We know prevention and early intervention are the most effective way of keeping kids safe, which is why we’re investing in new trials that will help families provide a safe and stable home,” she said.

MST has been shown to be successful for more than 40 years in the United States, where it originated, and now operates in more than 30 countries.

Child and family services will be able to share their experience and knowledge about evidence-based programs and practice across the sector.