Living arrangements for children under care (LA) file cluster

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Data Set Specification
METeOR identifier:748857
Registration status:Children and Families, Standard 03/11/2021
DSS type:Data Element Cluster

The Living arrangements for children under care (LA) file cluster contains information about the living arrangements recorded during the reference period for children under the care of a Department responsible for child protection (i.e. children on orders who were not in funded out-of-home care and children in funded out-of-home care placements regardless of whether they were on an order).

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:

For this file a person is a child or young person aged less than 18 years. Children who turn 18 during the reference period may also be included.

Funded out-of-home care placements are defined as out-of-home overnight care for children aged less than 18 years, where the state makes a financial payment or where a financial payment has been offered but has been declined by the carer. This includes placements with relatives (other than parents) where there is ongoing case management and financial payment has been made or offered but has been declined by the carer. It should be noted that children in funded ‘out-of-home care’ include children in both legal and voluntary placements and placements made for the purpose of providing respite for parents/carers. The following are excluded from out-of-home care: children who enter and exit a funded out-of-home care placement on the same day; placements solely funded by disability services, psychiatric services, specialist homelessness services, juvenile justice facilities, or overnight child care services; children on third party parental responsibility or immigration orders; supported placements for children aged 18 years or older; pre-adoptive placements and placements for children whose adoptive parents receive ongoing funding due to the support needs of the child; or children who are self-placed without the approval of the Department.


Collection methods:

Note that a client may appear more than once in this file. Each change in living arrangement a child has will be a new line in the file, delineated by a start and end date. Changes in living arrangement include: a change in the type of living arrangement (e.g. from home-based to a facility-based placement); or within living arrangement types, a change in the venue (e.g. a change from one home-based placement to a different home-based placement).

However, short breaks in out-of-home care placements (not for the purpose of respite) whereby the child is not at their usual place of residence but the intention is for the child to return to their prior living arrangement (i.e. their room and most of their substantial possessions remain in the original home environment) should not be recorded as a new living arrangement in the file. These breaks include: hospital admissions, periods of time spent in juvenile detention centres, holidays, school camps and excursions. However, any break of 60 days or more is deemed to be an exit from out-of-home care.

For family group homes, if the carers leave the home for more than 14 days at a time (e.g. annual leave), this should be recorded as a new living arrangement in the file.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Steward:Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2021. Child protection national minimum data set, data collection manual 2020-21. Canberra: AIHW.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:

Supersedes Living arrangements for children under care (LA) file cluster Children and Families, Superseded 03/11/2021

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:

Child protection NMDS 2020–21 Children and Families, Standard 03/11/2021

Parent DSS specific attributes +

Metadata items in this Data Set Specification

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Seq No.Metadata item Obligation Max occurs
1Person—person identifier, child protection NX[X(11)]Mandatory1
2Service event—living arrangement start date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
3Address—suburb/town/locality name, text X[X(45)]Mandatory1
4Address—Australian postcode, code (Postcode datafile) NNNNMandatory1
5Address—statistical area, level 2 (SA2) code (ASGS 2016) N(9)Mandatory1
6Service event—financial payment indicator, living arrangement code N[N]Mandatory1
7Service event—living arrangement type, child under care code N[N]Mandatory1
8Service event—respite placement indicator, yes/no/not applicable/not stated/inadequately described code NConditional1
9Person—relationship of carer to child, code N[N]Mandatory1
10Service event—Indigenous agency placement indicator, yes/no/not applicable/not stated/inadequately described code NConditional1
11Carer household—caregiver type, Indigenous child caregiver code N[N]Conditional1
12Carer household—household identifier, child protection identifier NX[X(11)]Mandatory1
13Service event—living arrangement end date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
14Service episode—episode start date, DDMMYYYYConditional1
15Service episode—funded out-of-home care placement, number N[NN]Conditional1
16Child—reunification type, code N[N]Mandatory1