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Out of Home Care

Key deliverables
  • 59 recommendations in 'The Life They Deserve' report relate to Out of Home Care - these will be delivered over 5 years (phase 1 will address 32 recommendations)
  • The goal is to reduce the need for commercial care, increase the number of children in family-based care, improve the foster care system and employ more specialist staff to meet clinical needs
  • Aboriginal kinship options will be prioritised and services designed to be culturally appropriate

The current Out of Home Care (OOHC) system is fragmented and very reactive to demand. It is not providing care in the best interest of children and young people with histories of trauma and neglect. 

A new OOHC strategy provides the roadmap for reforming the system and will ensure there is a shared vision and investment across government and non-government services to deliver reforms in partnership. Children, young people and their carers will be at the centre of the reforms.

Our goals

The 59 recommendations will be delivered over 5 years from July 2017 to July 2022. Phase 1 features 32 recommendations with some currently underway, and others to commence on 1 July 2017 including:

  • increasing Other Person Guardianship assessments
  • purchasing and implementing general and Aboriginal-specific kinship assessment tools
  • a team to address the backlog in kinship assessments
  • employing additional support staff including:
    • 4 foster carer relationship staff to improve the capacity and retention of family-based carers 
    • 2 specialist disability workers to consult across DCP in matters involving children with disabilities
    • 4 clinical staff to provide therapeutic support to children and young people in residential and commercial care placements
  • expanding the Intensive Placement Support team to improve governance and quality of commercial care placements.

How we will know we are making a difference

There will be greater accountability and transparency across the OOHC system through shared monitoring of deliverables. 

Indicators to measure if the new OOHC strategy is making a difference will include:

  • an increase in the proportion of children and young people in family-based care options
  • an decrease in the proportion of Aboriginal children and young people in non-family-based care
  • an increase in the proportion of Other Person Guardianship care options 
  • a decrease in the proportion of children and young people in commercial care.
For more details about the Out of Home Care strategy download the A Fresh Start progress report (PDF 1.3MB)


Reform Implementation team

Email: CPReform [at] sa.gov.au