When a child or young person is temporarily unable to live with their own family, they can be placed in out of home care. Foster and Kinship Care are the most common forms of out of home care in Australia and provide safe and nurturing homes for children and young people.
Kinship care is provided by a relative or someone else emotionally connected to the child. Foster care is provided by trained and accredited carers.
Children and young people enter care for many reasons. They can be any age – from newborn babies to 18 years old – and they come from diverse backgrounds. They may need care for different amounts of time. Often children return to living with their family, although in some instances permanent care orders are made to provide consistency for the child when this is not possible. Read more about permanency and guardianship here.
New South Wales is undertaking a sector-wide reform to child protection and out of home care practice. The Intensive Therapeutic Care system reform replaces the traditional residential care model. Read more here.
MacKillop supports a network of 700 foster carers across New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia who care for children and young people.
Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care
We are committed to transitioning Aboriginal young people in our care to the case management of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs). We work with a range of ACCOs to support the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, young people and families, ensuring a connection to culture, country and community is nurtured and encouraged.
In Western Australia, MacKillop has partnered with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, Woolkabunning Kiaka to provide culturally-appropriate other home care to Aboriginal children and young people that nurtures connection to both their heritage and land.
Foster carers are based at Roelands Village, 155kms south of Perth on the site of a former Churches of Christ Mission for the Stolen Generation. Carers live onsite with children and young people to build their self-esteem and help them to re-engage with education and culture.
By keeping children culturally connected to their community, our goal is to see them re-join their families as quickly as possible. In doing this, we aim to break the intergenerational trauma caused by the Stolen Generations and other colonial policies.