Support for out-of-home care providers

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LOOKOUT centres are an additional resource to support schools, child protection practitioners and case workers to meet their obligations under the out-of-home care education commitment and to improve educational outcomes for children and young people living in out of home care.

What support can LOOKOUT centres offer? 

LOOKOUT Centre staff provide advice and support in all aspects of a student’s education to: 

  • school staff
  • child protection workers
  • community service organisations 
  • carers.

LOOKOUT centres operate statewide but do not replace existing structures or responsibilities. LOOKOUT centres will ensure that children and young people in out-of-home care have access to all they are entitled to, including:            

  • Disability support services—schools have a responsibility to consult with students and/or families and carers to identify, remove and overcome any barriers to participation. For more information about supporing students in out of home care with disabilities see program for students with disabilities
  • Enrolment, suspension and expulsion—schools should follow policy in regards to expulsions however should seek advice from the LOOKOUT centre in relation to enrolment, suspension or expulsion of students in out-of-home care. LOOKOUT principals will advocate for students in out-of-home care on matters of suspension and expulsion.
  • Child Protection—LOOKOUT centres will work with schools, child protection practitioners, carers and community service organisations to provide education-related support to students in out-of-home care. 

For more information about LOOKOUT and Child Protection see:

How will LOOKOUT centres work with schools?

There will be one LOOKOUT centre per region. Each LOOKOUT centre will be led by a principal and staffed by a multidisciplinary team with expertise in:

  • education
  • psychology
  • Koorie cultural awareness 
  • data analysis.

The team will work with schools via the designated teacher​, who is the first point of contact within the school.

Centre staff, via the designated teacher will draw on the health and wellbeing staff, student support services (SSS) staff, Koorie education teams, and school improvement teams to make sure that out-of-home care students have access to everything they are entitled too. 

LOOKOUT centres will not replace the responsibilities of any of the signatories to the partnering agreement. Rather, centre staff will work closely with schools to bolster compliance in order to achieve improved outcomes for students in out-of-home care.

How will you know who is in out-of-home care? 

All school-aged children and young people in out-of-home care across Victoria are listed in the LOOKOUT student roll. The roll includes data from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).​ This is matched with school enrolment data. LOOKOUT centres do not receive referrals like a traditional service or program.

Key contacts 

To find out which region you are in, please visit: Department regions

Privacy statement

LOOKOUT centres collect and stores information about children and young people of school age who are enrolled in Victorian government, Catholic and Independent schools.​​​

To download this information, see:

What information does the LO​OKOUT centre collect about me?

 Information the LOOKOUT centre collects includes:

  • names, addresses, dates of birth and contact details

  • living arrangements (kinship, foster or residential care)

  • school or program in which student is enrolled

  • year level

  • whether a student has an Individual Education Plan, Student Support Group, and Learning Mentor.

Where has my information come from?

The LOOKOUT centre draws information from school and child protection records on the CASES21 (school) and CRIS/CRISSP (child protection) systems. In most cases consent has been given by you, your parent or your guardian for this information to be provided to your school or your child protection worker. 

Why does the LOOKOUT centre collect information about me?

The LOOKOUT centre collects this information so it has a full record of the care and education status of each student living in out-of-home care. This information enables the Centre to work with schools and case workers to make sure you have the best possible support in your education.

What is it used for?

The LOOKOUT centre uses information to:

  • monitor student enrolment and make sure that students are well supported to achieve at school
  • make sure that students have everything that they are entitled to under the education commitment: partnering agreement. For more information, see partnering agreement roles and responsibilities
  • know when students are changing school and make sure that transition is as smooth and successful as possible
  • advocate for the best enrolment options for students in out-of-home care.

Who does the LOOKOUT centre give my information to?

Your information is only shared with another school when your enrolment changes, or with DHHS if your care arrangements change. Research is sometimes conducted on how the LOOKOUT Centre can better provide support but we don’t pass this information on to anyone else in a way that can identify you.    

Under the Privacy and Data Protection Act, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Education and Training may be allowed by law to collect and share your information without your knowledge and consent. This includes when someone’s safety or welfare is at risk, such as if someone may have been or is at risk of being the victim of violence, or if someone is behaving in a way that shows that they are at risk of hurting themselves or others.     

The LOOKOUT centre might also share your information in order to fulfil certain legal obligations that the Department has. This might include making sure that, if you change schools, your new school has a copy of your individual education plan and student record so your school is ready for when you enrol and knows enough about you and your learning to make sure you settle in quickly. This might mean checking the Victorian Student Register or talking with a Health and Education Assessment Coordinator in the DHHS.

How can I get access to my personal information?

If you want to access your personal information you can contact the principal of your LOOKOUT centre. If you want to see the information that child protection has collected about you, talk to your child protection worker. They may be able to show it to you or talk to you about it unless this is prevented by the law.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ freedom of information unit can be contacted on (03) 9096 8449. 

The Department of Education and Training’s freedom of information unit can be contacted by:

If I want to make a complaint, how can I do that?

If you want to make a complaint regarding how your personal information is managed by the LOOKOUT centre, contact​