Standards of care
Each state or territory has standards for carers. Your approval will be reviewed regularly against these standards. In some states and territories Life Without Barriers will make the decision about your ongoing approval, but in others the government department makes this decision.
The laws that govern Out of Home Care are different in each state and territory, however there are many similarities. In every state and territory foster carers are screened, trained, and assessed, and once approved, foster carers must provide high quality care to children.
There are specific standards of care relating to the physical, emotional, psychological, and developmental wellbeing of children in care. These standards place obligations on you to actively support children, and also not cause them further harm.
Certain types of punishment are prohibited, including smacking, time out and restraint, and you must also avoid any punishment that demeans, devalues, humiliates, frightens, or terrorises a child in your care.
Familiarise yourself with the relevant standards of care in your state or territory which will be provided to you during assessment and when you are approved.
All standards have elements which relate to
- Safety and wellbeing of children
- Confidentiality of information about children
- Protection of the rights and dignity of children
- Preservation of the child's family relationship
- Maintenance of records about children's time in care
Breaches of Standards of Care
There are processes and procedures for identifying and investigating breaches of standards. Common to all states and territories are your rights to
- written information about process and procedure
- timely resolution of investigations
- written advice regarding outcomes and follow up actions
- access a support person throughout the process
- assistance from the Foster Care Peak body in your state or territory