Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare METeOR Home Page

Out-of-home care

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termGlossary Item
METeOR identifier:Help on this term735716
Registration status:Help on this termChildren and Families, Standard 20/01/2021
Definition:Help on this term

Out-of-home care (OOHC) is overnight care for children aged under 18 who are unable to live with their families due to child safety concerns. This includes placements approved by the department responsible for child protection for which there is ongoing case management and financial payment (including where a financial payment has been offered but has been declined by the carer).

Out-of-home care includes legal (court-ordered) and voluntary placements, as well as placements made for the purpose of providing respite for parents and/or carers.

 Out-of-home care excludes:

  • placements for children on third-party parental responsibility orders
  • placements for children on immigration orders
  • supported placements for children aged 18 or over
  • pre-adoptive placements and placements for children whose adoptive parents receive ongoing funding due to the support needs of the child
  • placements to which a child enters and exits on the same day
  • placements solely funded by disability services, psychiatric services, specialist homelessness services, juvenile justice facilities, or overnight child care services
  • cases in which a child self-places without approval by the department.

Collection and usage attributes

Comments:Help on this term

As out-of-home care requires significant intervention in a child’s life, it is used as a last resort. The current priority is to keep children safely at home with their families wherever possible. If this is not possible the preferred option is to place the child within their wider family or community.

Once a child is placed in out-of-home care, efforts are focused on maintaining the stability of their placement (permanency) and/or reuniting the child with their family if appropriate (reunification). Regardless of whether a child remains in out-of-home care on a long-term basis or reunites with their family, the goal is to provide a stable, safe environment for the child to grow up in.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Steward:Help on this termAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare
Origin:Help on this term

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2020. Child protection Australia 2018-19. Child welfare series no. 72. Cat. no. CWS 74. Canberra: AIHW.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes Out-of-home care Children and Families, Superseded 20/01/2021, Community Services (retired), Recorded 19/08/2011

Metadata items which use this glossary item:Help on this term

Child—reunification type Children and Families, Standard 20/01/2021

Child—reunification type, code N[N] Children and Families, Standard 20/01/2021

Funded out-of-home care placement Children and Families, Standard 20/01/2021

Service episode—funded out-of-home care placement Children and Families, Standard 20/01/2021

Service episode—funded out-of-home care placement, number N[NN] Children and Families, Standard 20/01/2021

My items Help on this term
Download Help on this term