The department has the legislated mandate under the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (the Act) to grant (either with or without conditions), renew and cancel licences for Foster Care Agencies (FCA), Children's Residential Facilities (CRF) and Kinship Care Agencies (KCA).

DCP also has a compliance and monitoring role to ensure:

  • it is appropriate for agencies to remain licensed
  • any licence conditions are being complied with.

Foster care agency and children's residential facility licences

Agencies must hold an appropriate licence approved by the Department for Child Protection in accordance with the Act if they wish to:

  • administer the placement of a child or young person in a foster care arrangement in South Australia
  • operate a children’s residential facility in South Australia.

Please refer to the Foster Care Agency and Children's Residential Facility Licensing Guidelines (PDF, 1.0 MB) for information on the legislative and departmental requirements for:

  • initial application and approval of Foster Care Agency (FCA) and Children’s Residential Facility (CRF) Licences
  • renewal of existing FCA and CRF Licences
  • compliance and monitoring requirements.

Covid-19 Interim Inspection Process for Children's Residential Facility (CRF)

The Department for Child Protection has modified the licensing process for CRFs in South Australia to comply with SA Health advice in response to COVID-19.

This interim process reduces the need to undertake physical assessments where safe to do so, with an aim to support safe physical distancing practices.

It is anticipated that this process will remain in place whilst a state of emergency has been declared by the South Australian Government.

Guidelines – Interim Inspection Process during COVID-19 for a Children’s Residential Facility (PDF, 734.3 KB) will assist Service Providers in understanding the interim licensing process during the COVID-19 period for CRF in South Australia.

For more information on the interim process, please contact

Kinship care agency licences

In accordance with the Act, any agency outside of the department that wishes to administer the placement of a child or young person in a kinship care arrangement in South Australia, must hold a Kinship Care Agency (KCA) Licence.

Please refer to the Process to apply for an initial Kinship Care Agency Licence info-guide (PDF, 759.7 KB) for more information regarding:

  • legislative provisions
  • initial application process
  • criteria and evidence required to meet legislative and Departmental licensing standards
  • assessment and approval process.

Any agency wishing to apply for a KCA Licence will need to complete requirements within the KCA application pack. This includes:

Please contact DCP’s Service Contracts and Licensing Team via email who will be able to provide:

  • support in initiating and completing the application process
  • guidance and feedback on the agency's draft policies and procedures to be submitted to meet KCA licensing requirements
  • arrange a time to meet with the relevant Agency representatives to complete an assessment interview.

Psychological assessment requirements

All staff working in Children’s Residential Facilities who provide services to children under the custody or guardianship of the DCP Chief Executive are required to complete a psychological assessment - irrespective of the number of children residing at the facility.

Licensed operators will be required to provide information on their organisations policies, procedures and processes associated with psychological assessment requirements.

Further information can be found in the Children's Residential Facility Licence update (PDF, 581.6 KB).

Information on psychological requirements for Children's Residential Staff can be accessed on the psychological assessment service provision requirements webpage.


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*Please note that the above email address is for use by current or potential service providers. If you are a carer, parent, or other community member, please visit contact the department for other ways to get in touch.