Children and young people are sometimes not able to live safely at home. This may be because they’ve experienced significant harm, are at risk of abuse, or their families can’t care for them because of disability, drug and alcohol abuse, domesticviolence or mental illness.

This section sets out how out-of-home care operates in NSW and explains processes in the Children’s Court and the rights of everyone directly involved in the care of a child.

Philosophy of care

Out-of-home care aims to provide care in a family-like or

personalised setting for children and young people who can’t live at home, while keeping the ties they already have with their family and community.

Key goals for out-of-home care in NSW are that children and young people are:

  • safe and developing optimally in a stable environment
  • successfully returned to their parents where possible
  • in a safe and stable placement well matched to their needs.

Key principles of out-of-home care are:

  • permanency for children as early as possible
  • maintaining cultural identity and connections with family and community
  • participation of children and young people in decision-making about their lives
  • supporting carers to care for children and young people.

Under the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act1998 there are three types of out-of-home care arrangements.