Out of Home Care Foundations Project

Out of Home Care Foundations Project

Improving Out of Home Care in Tasmania

The Tasmanian Government is committed to helping all children and young people, including those who are unable to live at home, to reach their potential. A significant reform agenda commenced in 2014 '... to radically redesign the child protection system'. Out of home care is a key plank in contributing to the wellbeing and outcomes for vulnerable children and young people. The whole-of-system reform, Strong Families Safe Kids and the Strategic Plan for Out of Home Care in Tasmania 2017-2019, has provided the launch pad to improve the delivery of out of home care in Tasmania.

“All children and young people have the right to be safe, receive loving care and have access to support that will give them the chance to reach their potential later in life… Children need to have stable and secure attachments, whether it is with their parents or in Out of Home Care (OOHC)"1.

Out of Home Care Reform

The Tasmanian Government is working with children and young people, carers, government and non-government agencies to improve the quality of out of home care services.

To create a strong foundation for the OOHC system, the out of home care foundations project will deliver three outputs. These are: an outcomes framework; a quality and accountability framework; and a future model for family based care.

Outcomes Framework

The Outcomes Framework for Children and Young People in Out of Home Care (outcomes framework) is the first step in improving care to children and young people for the time they are unable to live at home because it establishes clear expectations of successful out of home care.

The outcomes framework is a commitment to children and young people in care about what they can expect of their care experience.

The views of children and young people with an experience in out of home care were instrumental in developing the Outcomes Framework.  A Fact Sheet: Voices of Children and Young People in Out of Home Care showcases the views of children and young people expressed during the development of the Outcomes Framework.

The outcome indicators and the process for monitoring and reporting on the outcomes framework will be presented in a companion document. It is due for completion in late 2018.

Quality and Accountability Framework

Another component of work  is to develop a quality and accountability framework. This will describe the standards and performance measures that will be used to ensure out of home care is delivering quality services to children and young people in care.

The quality and accountability framework will identify the roles, responsibilities and standards to be met by Communities Tasmania  and service providers in delivering outcomes for children and young people in out of home care. Carers also have a critical role to play in achieving these outcomes and standards.

Future Model of Family Based Care

A new way of providing family based care, particularly foster and kinship care, in Tasmania is a third component in the out of home care foundations project.

Foster and kinship carers provide secure, stable and nurturing homes for children and young people who are unable to live with their families. They are key to the future success of vulnerable children and young people.

A new model of family based care will improve how we recruit, assess, train, support and work with carers to deliver quality care to our most vulnerable children and young people. Consultation sessions conducted through 2017 across the OOHC sector identified some of key issues and components of an effective family based care program.

A Discussion Paper: A Future Program  for Family Based Care considers a future approach to family based care, focusing on foster and kinship care and identifies issues for discussion.  In doing so, it draws upon recurring themes within the research literature, commissioned reports and reviews, current practice in Tasmania and stakeholder feedback.

Responses are required by 30 November 2018.

Consultation sessions will be held across Tasmania for carers, government and non-government agencies.


[1] Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. (2011). An Outline of National Standards for out-of-home care: A Priority Project under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2010. Commonwealth of Australia: Canberra, p2,3