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Voluntary out-of-home care

On 24 January 2010, the NSW Government introduced legislation to better safeguard the interests of children and young people in voluntary out-of-home care, many of whom have disabilities.

The legislation is designed to improve the consistency and quality of intake, assessment, case planning and interagency coordination for children and young people using voluntary out-of-home care and their families.

The principle provisions of the voluntary out-of-home care legislation are:

On 7 February 2011, the Children's Guardian launched the on-line Voluntary out-of-home care register.

About voluntary out-of-home care

A child or young person under the age of 18 is in voluntary out-of-home care when:

  • their parent has made an arrangement with an organisation to provide or arrange care for them and
  • they stay at a place other than their usual home overnight for one or more nights and
  • they are cared for by someone other than a parent or relative.

Voluntary out-of-home care includes overnight centre-based respite, host family care, residential placements and camps that provide respite or address challenging behaviour.

Agencies that provide, arrange or supervise voluntary out-of-home care have secure access to the on-line Voluntary out-of-home care register. Voluntary out-of-home care agencies are required to enter information about placements for all children and young people using VOOHC and, where applicable, case plans and supervision arrangements.

Parents can locate a voluntary out-of-home care agency by going to Find a service provider near you, or by using the Regional Maps page. 

Information brochure for parents and families