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Voluntary out-of-home care

Voluntary out-of-home care is overnight care provided by an organisation to a child or young person away from their usual home and with the consent of their family.

This is regulated by the Office of the Children's Guardian to support the safety and wellbeing of the children and young people using these services and to improve service coordination, planning and delivery.

In NSW, voluntary out-of-home care is governed by two key pieces of legislation:

Organisations that provide or arrange voluntary out-of-home care must be registered by the Office of the Children's Guardian before arranging or providing care.

Types of care

Voluntary out-of-home care covers care arrangements such as:

  • overnight or short term accommodation in a group home, respite, hotel or Air BnB environment
  • overnight stay with another family in a 'host family' arrangement
  • longer-term residential care
  • camps that focus on respite or behaviour support
  • bail assistance.

Care may be provided as a one-off emergency placement or may be used on a regular or long-term basis. These arrangements can be funded in several ways, including direct payment by families, the bail assistance program, or individual funding through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) (Short Term Accommodation) or other funding sources.