What is out of home care?
Out of home care (OOHC) refers to care arrangements for children outside of their own family home including after hours placement, district care, foster care, group homes and transitional high needs care.
The main reasons for children entering out of home care are for substantiated allegations of emotional abuse and neglect, which are underpinned by alcohol and drug misuse, mental health issues and family and domestic violence. These factors often combine with structural disadvantage, poverty and intergenerational trauma to create deeply entrenched patterns of dysfunction and child safety issues.
The Department’s prime objective for the Western Australian out-of-home care system is to continue the development of a quality system that places children in stable care arrangements that best meets their needs, as early as possible, for as long as is needed.
Changes to out of home care
There have been significant changes in the Western Australian community that have flowed into the OOHC system, putting extreme pressure on the system and providing the impetus for reform.
An increased demand and complexity of children’s needs as well as the fact children are now entering care earlier and staying longer, has resulted in service gaps for children, families and communities.
The Department has collaborated with the major stakeholders in the Western Australian out of home care system to establish the key characteristics of the future system and the strategic directions to achieve them.
Communities is seeking an OOHC system for children and young people that is focused on the best interests of the child or young person; coordinated, flexible, sustainable; innovative and cost-effective; and delivers quality services accountable to high standards.
For all children, but especially Aboriginal children, changes to the OOHC system will result in care arrangements that meet physical, emotional, cultural, and spiritual needs in keeping with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle.
Communities Reforming Out of Home Care services is informed by its work developing the Western Australian 10 Year Roadmap for Reducing Overrepresentation of Aboriginal Children in Out-Of-Home Care which will inform the Western Australian Government’s response to Target 12 of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
Physical and Sexual Abuse Insurance
Information for out of home care and youth homelessness accommodation service providers seeking to access the State Government’s temporary indemnity arrangements for physical and sexual abuse claims. Find out more about Physical and sexual Abuse Insurance.