Easy English guide to our kinship care report

Our report about kinship care

Easy English
 
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Hard words

This report has some hard words.
 
The first time we write a hard word
  • it is in blue
  • we will say what the hard word means.
 
This report is written by the Victorian Ombudsman.
 
The Victorian Ombudsman
  • helps people with complaints
  • talks to the government about how to make things better.
 
When you see the word we in this report it means the Victorian Ombudsman.
 
Complaints are when you
  • do not like something
  • tell someone about it.
 

About this report

This report is about kinship care.
 
Kinship care is when a child is looked after by someone who is not their parent.
 
A kinship carer might be
  • a person in the family
  • a person the child knows.
There are lots of children who need kinship care.
 
Many kinship carers do not have enough money to look after a child or young person.
 
The Department of Health and Human Services or DHHS gives kinship carers some money to pay for things.
 
For example
  • food
  • school
  • petrol.
This report tells you important information about
  • our investigation
  • what we found
  • our recommendations.
 

Our investigation

Investigation means to find out more.
 
We wanted to know how DHHS works with kinship carers.
 
We wanted to know if DHHS
  • gives kinship carers the payments they need
  • makes decisions that give children in kinship care the best support
  • gives kinship carers clear information about payments
  • pays kinship carers on time.
 

What we found

We found that
  • kinship carers get less money than foster carers
  • when kinship carers do not get the right payments
    • carers might find it hard to pay for things they need
    • children might go into different care, for example foster care
  • kinship carers have to wait too long for payments
  • there is not enough information about
    • the types of payments for kinship carers  
    • how to get the right payments for kinship care.
 

Our recommendations

Recommendations means what we think needs to happen.
 
We want to make things better for kinship carers.
 
We think DHHS should
  • give kinship carers and foster carers the same payments
  • make decisions that give children in kinship care the best support
  • give kinship carers clear information about payments
  • make decisions in a reasonable time
  • contact kinship carers in a reasonable time.
Reasonable means something that is fair.
 
DHHS told us they will do these things.
 

More information

For more information contact the Victorian Ombudsman:
 
Call 9613  6222 or 1800 806 314 (regional only)