On 17 July 2014, the Senate referred the following matter to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report.

The Terms of Reference are:

Out of home care, including;

  1. drivers of the increase in the number of children placed in out of home care, types of care that are increasing and demographics of the children in care, 
  2. the outcomes for children in out of home care (including kinship care, foster care and residential care) versus staying in the home; 
  3. current models for out of home care, including kinship care, foster care and residential care; 
  4. current cost of Australia‘s approach to care and protection; 
  5. consistency of approach to out of home care around Australia; 
  6. what are the supports available for relative/kinship care, foster care and residential care; 
  7. best practice in out of home care in Australia and internationally; 
  8. consultation with individuals, families and communities affected by removal of children from the home; 
  9. extent of children in out of home care remaining connected to their family of origin; and 
  10. best practice solutions for supporting children in vulnerable family situations including early intervention. 

Submissions were sought by 31 October 2014.  The committee must report by the second sitting week in February 2015.  On 4 December 2014, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 13 May 2015. On 12 May 2015, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 12 August 2015. On 11 August 2015, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 18 August 2015. On 18 August 2015, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 19 August 2015.



Past Public Hearings

17 Apr 2015: Brisbane, QLD
16 Apr 2015: Canberra, ACT
02 Apr 2015: Darwin, NT

more...

Report

Out of home care

19 August 2015

© Commonwealth of Australia 2015
ISBN 978-1-76010-264-7

View the report as a single document - (PDF 2589KB)


View the report as separate downloadable parts:

MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE (PDF 26KB)
ABBREVIATIONS (PDF 17KB)
LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS (PDF 163KB)
Chapter 1 - Introduction (PDF 275KB)

Establishment of the inquiry
The committee's areas of interest
Structure of report
Conduct of the inquiry
Acknowledgements
Key concepts
Key out-of-home care trends and statistics
Figure 1.1 – Number of children in out-of-home care, 2004–05 to 2013–14
Figure 1.2 – Rate of children in out-of-home care per 1000 children aged 0‑17 years in the population across jurisdictions at 30 June 2014
Figure 1.3 – Number of children in out-of-home care by placement type, 2004–05 to 2013–14
Figure 1.4 – Proportion of children in main types of care across jurisdictions, 30 June 2013
Figure 1.5 – Proportion of children in out-of-home care at 30 June per 1000 children aged 0–17 in the population by Indigenous status, 2004–05 to 2013–14
Figure 1.6 – Rate of children in out-of-home care by Indigenous status across jurisdictions, per 1000 children in the population, 30 June 2014
Figure 1.7 – Proportion of children in out-of-home care by Indigenous status and jurisdiction, 30 June 2014
Figure 1.8 – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children placed in accordance with the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle by type of care, 30 June 2014
Figure 1.9 – Real expenditure on out-of-home care services, 2004–05 to 2013–14
Figure 1.10 – Real expenditure per child ($), out-of-home care services, 2013–14.

Chapter 2 - Out-of-home care frameworks (PDF 449KB)

Current out-of-home care framework
Table 2.1 – State and territory child protection inquiries
Table 2.2 – Out-of-home care legislative framework
Figure 2.1 – The child protection process in Australia
Figure 2.2 – Proportion of children on care and protection order at 30 June 2014 by type of order
Figure 2.3 – Proportion of children in out-of-home by type of order across jurisdictions, 30 June 2014
State and territory frameworks
Table 2.3 – State and territory independent bodies
Commonwealth framework
Figure 2.4 – A public health model for child protection
Table 2.4 – Out-of-home care standards and measures
Table 2.5 – Available data on measures for National Standards for out-of-home care

Chapter 3 - Drivers for out-of-home care trends (PDF 220KB)

Reasons children enter out-of-home care
Figure 3.1 – Percentage of children who were subject to a substantiation of neglect by jurisdiction and Indigenous status
Children remaining longer in care
Figure 3.2 – Number of child protection notifications, investigations and substantiations, 2008-09 to 2012-13
Figure 3.3 – Percentage of children by length of time in continuous placement, 2009–2013.
Social disadvantage
Systemic factors

Chapter 4 - Outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care (PDF 261KB)

Safety and stability
Participation in decision making and planning
Access to health and education
Connection with family
Transition from care

Chapter 5 - Support for families (PDF 338KB)

Building safe and resilient families
Figure 5.1 – Real expenditure on child protection services, by type of service, 2013-14
Figure 5.2 – Proportion of real expenditure on child protection services by jurisdiction, 2013/14
Support for families with children in care

Chapter 6 - Out-of-home care models and supports (PDF 309KB)

Types of care
Table 6.1 – Children in out-of-home care, by type of placement, states and territories, 30 June 2013
Table 6.2 – Proportion of children in main types of care, 30 June 2013
Figure 6.1 – Proportion of real expenditure on residential and non-residential care, 2013/14
Figure 6.2 – Estimated real expenditure per child for residential and non-residential out-of-home care services, 2013/14
Relative/kinship care
Table 6.3 – Ongoing training support for relative/kinship carers
Foster care
Residential care
Cross-jurisdictional issues
Table 6.4 – Relative/kinship and foster carer allowances
Table 6.5 – Role of non-government sector in delivering out-of-home care services across types of care

Chapter 7 - Permanent models of care (PDF 223KB)

Permanent care options
Table 7.1 – Permanent care arrangements across selected jurisdictions
Figure 7.1 – Number of known carer adoptions across jurisdictions 1999‑2000 to 2013-14

Chapter 8 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (PDF 260KB)

Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
Table 8.1 – Role of Aboriginal organisations across jurisdictions

Chapter 9 - Specific needs of particular groups (PDF 143KB)

Families and children with disability and complex health issues
Children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Chapter 10 - Conclusion and recommendations (PDF 92KB)

National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2009–2020
Support for children
Support for families
Support for carers

Additional Comments—Coalition Senators (PDF 44KB)
APPENDIX 1 - Submissions and additional information received by the Committee (PDF 80KB)
APPENDIX 2 - Public hearings (PDF 31KB)

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3515
Fax: +61 2 6277 5829
community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au

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