Foster Care Week has been running in NSW since 1990 and is coordinated by Association of Children's Welfare Agencies (ACWA) with the support of non-government foster care agencies and other partners. A grant from the Minister for Family and Community Services assists with all this work.
“Out of home care refers to the care of children and young people up to 18 years who are unable to live with their families - often due to child abuse and neglect,” an ACWA spokesperson said. “The child is placed with alternate caregivers on a short- or long-term basis.
“Informal care refers to arrangements made without intervention by statutory authorities or courts, and formal care occurs following a child protection intervention either by voluntary agreement or a care and protection court order.”
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Types of out of home care:
- Residential care: in a building with paid staff.
- Family group homes: provided by a department or community-sector agency and live-in carers
- Home-based care: in the home of a carer who is reimbursed for expenses for the care of the child
- Independent living: includes private board and lead tenant households
- Other: boarding schools, hospital, hotels/motels and defence forces
Out of home care is a last resort for keeping children safe, as supporting children within their family is preferred. The need for carers is rising so see www.acwa.asn.au or www.fosteringnsw.com.au if you can help.