Ombudsman investigates financial support for kinship carers

Monday 06 March 2017
The Victorian Ombudsman has commenced an ‘own motion’ investigation into the financial support provided to kinship carers by the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria.
Kinship carers assume care of children, who are in need of protection, in an out-of-home care (OOHC) setting. Kinship carers can be relatives or any other suitable person in a child’s social network.
Kinship care is the preferred OOHC placement for children. If a child or young person is removed from the care of their parent, consideration is to be first given to the child being placed with an appropriate family member or other appropriate person significant to the child, before any other placement option is considered.
Australian researchers have reported that kinship care is the fastest growing form of OOHC. Reasons for this growth include recognition of kinship care as having many advantages within the formal structures of child protection, such as the preservation of family, promotion of cultural identity and reduced separation trauma.
In 2014-15, Victoria had the highest number of children enter out-of-home-care in Australia (3,545) and the state also has the highest level of kinship care placements, amounting to 54.96 per cent of all out-of-home-care placements.
The Victorian Ombudsman is seeking input, information and advice to assist the investigation, which can be made in writing to or by telephone to 9613 6222 until 28 April 2017.
Media contact: Rory Cahill Tel 03 9613 6235 | Mob 0409 936 235 
Further information: Tel 03 9613 6222 | Regional 1800 806 314 | | Follow @VicOmbudsman