Australia’s Out of Home Care (OOHC) system has been thrown into the spotlight. Regardless of the focus on prevention and early intervention, there are still over 43,400 children legally recognised as living in OOHC across the nation. Taking into consideration the number of informal arrangements, this number is estimated to be far greater.
Outcomes for children living in kinship, foster, respite and residential care are significantly lower than other Australian children – a third do not finish year 12 and 44% are not employed within five years of leaving care.
With multiple reports undertaken, including NSW’s Independent Review, Their Futures Matter, and Victoria’s Roadmap for Reform, it is clear that government and service providers need to work together to improve OOHC for Australia’s most vulnerable children.