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 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 Out-of-Home Care, explains how children come into care and outlines the legal orders which can be lodged to admit children into care.

Types of Out-of-Home Care

  • 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 care of a Permanent carer (including foster or kinship carers where it is intended the child will remain in their care until age 18 or beyond) prior to a Permanent care order being made by the Children's Court
  • residential care: a young person is placed into a home staffed by carers.

For more information, see: Kinship, foster and other care

Children and young people come into Out-of-Home Care 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 Health and Human Services (DHHS) or a community service organisation.

For more information, see 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.

Current orders can be found on the DHHS website. For more information, see Child Protection Orders

Requirements for out-of-home care providers

Schools, Child Protection Practitioners and case workers are required to meet their obligations under the Out-Of-Home Care Education Commitment: A Partnering Agreement. For more information, see: Requirements for out-of-home care providers