Kinship, foster & other care

Placements for children with relatives, foster parents or in residential care facilities are called out-of-home care placements. Placement types include:

  • Kinship care – placement with relatives and supported by the department or Community Service Organisations (CSOs)
  • Foster care – placement with foster parents and supported by CSOs
  • Residential care – placement in a residential unit staffed by CSOs. This also includes semi-independepent living arrangements such as the Lead Tenant model.
  • Voluntary care - placement where there is no court order requiring a child to live out of their parent’s care. The parent consents to a voluntary arrangement with a service for the temporary care of their child.

Kinship and foster care are also referred to as home based care, because they happen in a home setting.

Who can use these services?

These services are mainly targeted at children and adolescents involved in the child protection system, although a small percentage of clients are voluntary.

What do they cost?

There are no fees to clients of out of home care and support services. CSOs are funded by the Department of Human Services to provide these services. Kinship and foster carers are reimbursed for the costs of providing care.

What is the role of the child protection system?

The child protection system is responsible for investigating alleged child abuse and neglect, and determining the most appropriate care or support solution for the child. This may include placing the child in out-of-home care.

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