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Glossary - relative, kinship and foster care

Advocacy

Supporting the carer to take up and find a solution or an answer to an issue that they have. This may involve giving advice to the carer, or where the carer feels unable to take up the matter themselves, raising the issue on behalf of the carer and assisting then to achieve a satisfactory resolution.

Alternative care

See The difference between foster care and kinship care

Alternative care service provider (ACSP)

The agency that recruits, assesses, trains, reviews and supports the carer in caring for a child/young person.

Care team

All those who are involved in providing care to, and assistance for the child who is in alternative care and who work together with a focus on the child. All members of the care team, including the carer, have a valuable perspective of the child's interests.

Customer service officer

The person in the Department for Child Protection who deals with complaints about the department, including complaints from carers. The customer service officer can give information on the range of options available to attempt to resolve a complaint, including whether a decision can be reviewed or how to take a complaint further.

Department for Child Protection

The government agency that has statutory responsibility for the provision of services to vulnerable children, young people and their families.

Foster care

The care of a child who is living apart from his or her biological or adoptive parent(s) in a family home of one or more adults who provide care and support as substitute parents.

See The difference between foster care and kinship care

Foster carer

An approved and trained person (who is not a guardian or relative of the child) who, with the assistance of a regular allowance for expenses incurred in caring for a child acts as a substitute parent, providing care and support for a child or young person in their own home.

Foster parent

A foster carer who is seen by the child as providing them with parenting as a long term commitment. The term 'foster parent' may be their term of choice for these carers. The term gives recognition to the different role of a carer who has the child in their care on a long term basis and who may fulfil many, or most, of the responsibilities of a parent.

Kinship care

Any living arrangement in which a relative or someone else emotionally connected to the child takes primary responsibility for raising that child. This care arrangement may be informally arranged, or formally supported by the Department for Child Protection.

See The difference between foster and kinship care

Kinship carer

The carer of a child who is either a relative of the child or who has a significant connection to the child through a special relationship, based on identity, cultural connection or emotional attachment. Kinship carers who have no blood connection to the child are sometimes called 'kith carers'.

Life story collection

The collection of records of significant events, special moments and objects from a child's life that should be kept and looked after. The collection may include photos, drawings and mementos, and may be kept in a box for safekeeping. Aboriginal life story books have been developed especially for Aboriginal children in care to help children maintain a connection with culture.

Out-of-home care

See The difference between foster care and kinship care

Peer support

Carers supporting other carers.

Placement Support Worker

The worker from the alternative care service provider agency who provides regular support to the carer.

Placement preservation

The Department for Child Protection and the placement support worker will work with the carer to sort out any problems that might lead to the child leaving. Where the child has had to leave, efforts will be made to see if it is possible for the child to return. If the child can't return efforts will be made to maintain contact.

Relative carer

The carer of a child who is a relative of that child including any person held to be related to the child according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules. The carer may be caring for the child by informal arrangement or be approved by the Department for Child Protection to provide care for the child and in receipt of an allowance.