How Care Works
Working out what things mean, who does what in OOHC and how you can speak up
Types of care
Out-of-home care (OOHC): When you are in OOHC you are cared by a person (often known as a carer) other than your parents, and live in a place other than your usual home. The Act talks about three types of OOHC; Statutory OOHC, Supported OOHC, and Voluntary OOHC.
Statutory OOHC: When the Children’s Court has made an order, which requires you to live with a person who is not your parent in a place which is not your parental home, for more than 14 days or if the child is a protected person. It does not include care provided by a relative unless the Minister has parental responsibility.
Supported OOHC: When the Secretary (boss of DCJ) decides that you are in need of care and protection and there are no court orders in place, for example a family member other than your parents are caring for you. This includes temporary care which is a short-term arrangement that your parent/s have okayed where your family is supported to resolve issues concerning your safety, welfare and wellbeing.
Voluntary OOHC: Is a voluntary arrangement made by a parent/s with a designated agency or agency registered with the NSW Children’s Guardian where Community Services has no involvement in the placement.
Parental Responsibility: this means all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to their children.
Parental responsibility to the Minister: An order of the Children’s Court placing you in the parental responsibility of the Minister. This means the court gives all the normal duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that parents have to DCJ.
Guardianship: The Court can make a guardianship order, which means you are not in foster care or OOHC but in the independent care of your guardian until the age of 18 years of age. This means your guardian can make decisions about you.
Open Adoption: An adoption order has been made by the Supreme Court of NSW to legally transfer all parental rights and responsibilities, Guardianship and custody from the child's parents to the adoptive parents. Open Adoption is considered to have occurred on the day that the order is made.
Foster care: Where you are placed in a family setting with carers who are not related to you but have been authorised. The carer’s own children may be living there too. Foster carers can provide short or long-term care, respite or crisis care.
Relative and kinship care: Where you are placed in the home of relatives or kin who are authorised carers.
Emergency/Crisis care: When there are concerns for immediate safety. Emergency carers provide care at short notice, after hours and on weekends.
Interim or restoration care: This type of placement may be needed when you are waiting to return to your birth family, or waiting for a long-term placement. This placement is limited in time for up to a maximum of 12 months.
Long-term foster care: Where you remain in the care of an authorised carer until you are 18 years of age or beyond.
Respite care: Where you will spend time with an authorised carer other than your usual carer, for short periods of time, such as school holidays, weekends or for short periods during the week.
Intensive Therapeutic Care Homes (ITCH):These are houses that are run by a dedicated in-house care team that have special training to support you and work out the best plan for where you will live in the long term. Young people only stay here for a short time whilst a long term plan is worked out.
Intensive Therapeutic Transitional Care (ITTC):These are also houses that a care team that have special training to support you and work out the best plan for where you will live in the long term and help you transition there. They spend lots of time talking and getting to know who you are and what you need for the place that you will stay in long term.
Therapeutic Sibling Option Placement (TSOP):24/7 care in a home with live-in carers that makes sure that siblings can live together.
Therapeutic Supported Independent Living (TSIL):Accommodation where supportive people work with you to make sure you have all the information and skills to live independently.