Out of home care

The issue

Many of us think of home as a place of safety. But for some children, this isn't the case. When home is no longer a safe place, children under 18 are taken into the care of the state, known as out-of-home care.

There are various arrangements for out-of-home care, such as foster care, kinship care or residential care.

The latest figures show that the numbers of children going into out-of-home care has been growing since 2012.

Children that have experienced out-of-home care can face a number of difficulties as they grow up, including

  • mental health issues
  • poverty
  • unemployment, and
  • homelessness.

There is an urgent need for more foster carers to provide a home for children and young people that are unable to be with their families. This care can be for short periods of time, or as a long-term arrangement.

The solution

We're pleased that in 2018 both Tasmania and Victoria have committed to providing support for young people in out-of-home-care until the age of 21. We have seen the need for this change for some time. It will make a big difference to the lives of these young people, reducing their vulnerability to homelessness, unemployment and prison. Download the Victorian Government's Home Stretch factsheet for more information.

We need more people to open their lives and homes to children and young people as foster carers.