What is Out-of-Home Care?

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Out-of-Home Care (OOHC) is a temporary, medium or long-term living arrangement for children and young people who cannot live in their family home.

This section defines four types of OOHC, explains how children come into care and outlines the legal orders which can be lodged to admit children into care.

Types of OOHC

There are four types of OOHC:

  • Foster care: a child is taken into care by a foster carer who has been trained and approved to look after children.
  • Kinship care: a child is taken into care by a relative or family friend allowing them to remain within the family or local network.
  • Permanent care: a child is placed into the permanent care of an existing foster carer or kinship carer through the Family Court.
  • Residential care: a young person is placed into a home staffed by carers.

For more information, see: Department of Human Services - Kinship, foster and other care

Children and young people come into OOHC through two main channels:

  • after an investigation and removal from the family home by Child Protection
  • when a parent or parents cannot care for their child and approach the Department of Human Services or a community service organisation.

For more information, see Department of Human Services - Child Protection 

Legal orders

A number of legal orders can be granted by the Children's Court to assist in the safe removal of a child from their family home. They include:

  • Interim Accommodation or Protection Order: granted pending further investigations.
  • Supervision Order: a child is monitored in the family home by Child Protection.
  • Custody or Third Party Order: a child is placed in the custody of another person without Child Protection supervision.
  • Secretary Order: a child is placed in the care of the person arranging their placement.
  • Permanent Care Order: a child is placed in the permanent care of a guardian.

For more information, see Children's Court of Victoria