Foster Care Or Out-of-home Care in Australia

download print

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 2071 |

Pages: 5|

11 min read

Published: Apr 29, 2022

Words: 2071|Pages: 5|11 min read

Published: Apr 29, 2022

Foster care is the care of children and young people at aged of 0 to 17 years who cannot live with their parents due to various reasons. For the superior care of children, they are placed in charge of other care providers either on a short-term or long-term basis. It is also called out-of-home care (OOHC). Further, the Australian Institute of Family Studies mentioned that care could be organized formally including the involvement of child protection services, court orders, and informally without comprising regulatory bodies. Foster care children increased in numbers over the past five years, with the numbers proliferating by 18% from the year 2013 to 2017. That demonstrates the progressive consequences to children for being enlisted in and staying in out-of-home care. The following paragraphs will enlighten the impact of social policies on foster care services and elaborate on the need to reform some policies in detail. According to Harvey et al., out-of-home care children come under the most vulnerable and socially disadvantaged groups and showed poor outcomes related to health/social/educational level in comparison with other people. 

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

In Australia, Indigenous children are overcrowded, and 10 times more in foster care homes than non-Indigenous children as per the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Whereas, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people consist of just 4.7% of all children under the age of 18 in Australia and they comprised 33.6% of all children in foster care. As discussed by Harvey et al., young people received out-of-home care only till 17 years of age, and most people are inadequately prepared when they leave the care, to live independently in the world. There is a need for policy renewal to establish a better world outside when foster care children leave out-of-home care. There is a requirement for foster care homes and carers, where children can feel safe, comfortable, and happy, after removing from their families to protect children and young people. 

Further, Randle explained that to establish good foster homes and carers, it is mandatory to examine the perceptions and opinions of adults who were in foster care as children. Another, “Positive Stability” is one of the essential requirements for a successful OOHC placement. And, the positive stability is directed to an increased probability of positive consequences for foster children consisting of behavioral and psychological well-being. Whereas, Randle stated that just ensuring foster placement stability could not provide all desired results for out-of-home children, despite its prevalent benefits.

Therefore, it often guides to make a strategy to evaluate the academic success and employment data on previous and present foster care children. In the case of favorable foster care, issues related to continuity and persistence are imperative points. Again, Randle discussed that the involvement of biological parents/family and maintaining good relationships with them are necessary points in planning foster care for a child. Although, Randle advised to pay attention to a child`s happiness in out-of-home care rather than permanence as living in the same place where the child is unhappy, will not give a fruitful and satisfactory result. 

These discussions/studies are based on the opinions of individuals who are at the time of fieldwork, involved in the foster care system in some capacity such as managers of foster care programs, caseworkers, foster carers, or the children who are currently in care. But the perspective of ex-foster children who are now adults and matured enough to provide advice on the successful running of foster homes could be influential. As the ex-foster children can use their experience in out-of-home care and build a better future for other current foster children. “Further, the information from ex-foster children based on their experiences in care and their assessment of their childhood given the benefit of hindsight” as per Randle. Besides, Randle explored the characteristics of good foster carers based on personal characteristics, environmental and familial factors, and motivations/genuine love for children. 

Harkin and Houston illustrated the impacts of long-term living in out-of-home care on young people. While, Wilson explored several inquiries made by the government in Australia over the last 2 decades, that brought to public attention the psychological problems experienced by the foster care children. Next, Harkin and Houston shared that risk factors like capitulate to poor emotional, behavioral, educational, and social results depend on their knowledge from an earlier care experience and the effects of the foster care system itself. Moreover, Harkin and Houston wrote in their article that behavioral problems of young people are majorly impacted by placement breakdown and young people who enter into foster care homes at an older age, directly from their homes where they live with primary caregivers, were at the highest risk of this outcome. Furthermore, the important understanding develops that the placement breakdown is a complex process rather than a one-event program. It comprises the interaction between several protective as well as risk factors, working in the larger context of young people`s lives and their care-providing environment. Thus, the consequences develop from the collective risk factors than the single points, strengthen the significance of protective factors (positive relationship with birth family) and remove the risk factors (entry in an OOHC at an older age, behavioral problems) as per Harkin and Houston.

The Australian child protection services provide comprehensive services and target to improve the health and well-being of every Australian child along with responding to the issues linked to child abuse/neglect. Similarly, child protection services collaborate with other necessary government departments working in the health, education, justice, and welfare sectors to provide the best-required support to all vulnerable children and families. The Council of Australian Governments focused on recruiting qualified and committed care providers to foster home children, as various evidence suggests that carers could improve the psychological/physical well-being of children and young person`s living in foster homes. Likewise, Blythe et al, found out that foster carers experienced more anxiety, stress, and depression than people in the general community. Also, foster carers felt frustrated because of their role limitation, have guilt, and anger during placement breakdown, feel threats to their safety. 

Thus, taking care of foster carers` health and well-being also becomes mandatory, and this indirectly will improve the children`s well-being. The changes seen in the child protection services and foster care services over the period. Additionally, Musgrove and Michell discussed that survivor-activism in Australia engaged in an imperative role in forming a combined narration that enabled the previous foster care leavers to share their experiences of living in foster care homes, on the public platform. Just as Musgrove and Michell explained the foster care system and changes developed in foster care children, using case studies. One of the case studies explored by Musgrove and Michell involves Priscilla`s (aged 62 years) experience in OOHC during the 1950s and 1960s. Where Priscilla had various foster placements during her childhood, and Priscilla thought that how long their new foster parents would like her? As ultimately, Priscilla was sent back to the institution. Thus, Priscilla liked the institution more and her education was disrupted because of several placements. This frequent rotation in placements shows the placement instability and that influenced the children`s well-being in several ways. Although, Casey's family programs examined that placement instability greatly impacted the child`s/young person's possibility of permanence with the help of reunification, guardianship, and adoption. While, Musgrove and Michell further mentioned that parenting could be challenging for those who lived in foster care homes because of previous and ongoing trauma, the absence of role models, and the policies of child welfare departments as well. Most of the previous care leavers are afraid of losing their children and Musgrove and Michell gave an example of BRINGING THEM HOME, where aboriginal people who were removed in their childhood showed fear of their children`s removal. Social policies are established to upgrade public well-being including children. 

Further, McClelland and Smyth analyzed that the distribution of well-being to all citizens of the nation is a prime concern of welfare policies. Moreover, McClelland and Smyth discussed how policy activism helped to improve existing policies that are not beneficial to people and need some changes. Meanwhile, Harvey et al. discussed the inequity in the Australian higher education policy for children and young people, living in foster care homes. Besides, Harvey et al. showed the data that how this higher education policy creates an inequitable platform for people with foster care backgrounds.

Also, young people in out-of-home care address specified educational obstacles from an early age, consisting of disrupted schooling and placement instability. Besides, the basis of education disorder and disconnection at the school level are reasons for insufficient preparation to get higher education. In comparison with the United Kingdom (UK), Australia has worked sluggishly to examine legislation and incentives for young people who leave foster care homes and want to acquire higher education. In the same manner, Australia has no specified details on university admissions of out-of-home care leavers, and the inflexibility of the national equity framework initiated in 1990, is one of the prime causes for this. Furthermore, Harvey et al. explored that the national framework to provide equitable services recognized six disadvantaged groups to be represented in higher education. These cohorts included people with poor socio-economic backgrounds, women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, disabled people, people who were not from an English background, and people from isolated and rural backgrounds. Likewise, the university policies for admission and government funding services worked to assist six cohorts and since then, no other category has been included in the framework. In the same way, there is a requirement of a policy amendment to enhance the participation of foster care children in higher education. 

Equally important to increase the cohort in the national equity framework by adding out-of-home care children. Another, the policy devolution to the institutional level could increase the equitable options for foster care children to get a university education. Zlotnik et al. discussed the policy renewal for the child welfare system over the past 2 decades. To enhance the health of children in foster care, access to care and other integrated facilities are increased by the child welfare system. Concurrently, the improvements and changes made in child welfare policies have increased the accountability of child protection agencies to ensure children`s well-being. Reinforcing by the federal government, various administrations are expanding workforce and remuneration strategies to upgrade health care delivery and outcomes for children in out-of-home care. 

Parton and Mathew analyzed the struggle of child protection services to provide incredible services to children and young people in out-of-home care. Similarly, there is a need for more efforts to grow the more voluntary and preventive family support facilities. To deal with challenges faced by child welfare agencies, Western Australia addressed this problem by introducing “New Directions in Child Protection and Family Support”. And child protection services have influenced child maltreatment cases and clear their focus in work for rapid modification. It is examined that kinship care showed more positive outcomes for children`s well-being than non-relative out-of-home care, because of family relations and commitment. There are several suggestions made by Ainsworth and Hanson to upgrade foster care facilities. 

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.

First, to improve foster care outcomes, there is a need to decrease the number of children who are separated from their parent`s care. This would reduce the requirement to enroll more foster care staff and will be allowed to focus on providing quality care to foster children. Then, Ainsworth and Hanson discussed the way to reduce the number of out-of-home care children by ameliorating the skill and education levels of child protection workers, thus they would be able to go in for difficult parenting situations and motivate/educate the parents to enhance their parenting skills. After that, Ainsworth and Hanson stated about the importance of the involvement of close association with public housing officials, so that would be helpful to deal with parents under stress due to poor housing conditions, which could negatively impact the parent`s capacity to provide safe environments to their children. The next stage is to increase professional service centers and improve the model of foster care, for instance, the “Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care Model (MDTFC)”. Another stage involves the participation of caseworkers, during making case notes for court, there is a need to be more focused on future harm to the children by remaining in the parental care, rather than targeting past sufferings. There is also a need to make a ‘foster care wellbeing’ declaration that should highlight the remarkable sufferings, the child can face in the foster care after being separated from the parental care. 

Image of Dr. Oliver Johnson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Foster Care Or Out-Of-Home Care In Australia. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“Foster Care Or Out-Of-Home Care In Australia.” GradesFixer, 29 Apr. 2022,
Foster Care Or Out-Of-Home Care In Australia. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jul. 2024].
Foster Care Or Out-Of-Home Care In Australia [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 29 [cited 2024 Jul 17]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now