Permanent Care

The core of Anglicare Victoria’s work remains our commitment to providing nurturing homes and better tomorrows for children and young people who are not able to live with their families for a range of reasons.

Children and young people placed in permanent care are offered a secure and nurturing home environment to live permanently with a family other than their birth family. These arrangements are based on an understanding that children’s development is promoted by stable, secure and nurturing relationships and to ensure better and sustainable outcomes.

FAQs

  • A permanent care placement may be offered to children between the ages of 0 and 12 years old who are unable to return home to their families.

    Children placed in permanent care often have special needs due to their separation from their birth family. Some children may have additional needs. This may be of an emotional, physical or intellectual nature, or may be due to delayed development. They may come from disrupted backgrounds from multiple placements resulting in a significant trauma history. They may belong to a sibling group who needs to be placed together, or they may have physical and/or intellectual disabilities.

  • A permanent care arrangement is different from adoption in a legal sense. The legal responsibility for the child remains with the Department of Health and Human Services after the placement of a child, until custody and guardianship is transferred to a permanent carer. This generally takes place 12 months after a placement is made. Children placed on Permanent Care orders have been removed by Child Protection from their families of origin and cannot return home; they need permanent homes and families to grow up in.

    Adoption changes the legal status of the child, changing the birth certificate to reflect the child as having been born to adoptive parents. At 18 years, adopted children can apply for their original birth certificate. Adoption refers to the voluntary relinquishment of a child by their parents.

    Contact between the child and their birth family is an integral part of a permanent care arrangement.

  • Same sex or heterosexual couples who have lived together for over two years and single applicants can apply to become permanent carers.Permanent carers are individuals who help to make a positive difference to children’s lives, enabling growth and developing their potential despite their difficult start in life.

    It is important for carers to have a love and enjoyment of children and some experience in caring for them, as well as good health, lots of energy, a sense of humour and patience.

    Families and individuals who have welcomed children into their families on a permanent basis have this to say about their experience:

    “Our child is really special – she has so much love to give and we love her very much.”

  • Prospective caregivers complete a training program as well as an assessment which includes police and medical checks.

    Anglicare Victoria will provide placement support in the way of advice, referral to specialist services as well as financial support.

  • Contact between the child and their birth family is an integral part of a permanent care arrangement, as it enables children to develop or continue relationships that are important to them.

    In order for children to forge a more positive future, it’s important for children to know about their origins. This is an important part of their identity development. Many children remember living with their birth family and this contact reassures them of their interest, concern and continuing existence.

    For parents whose children are placed outside the family on a permanent basis, it can be a significant loss and they may experience grief that could last a lifetime. Therefore having contact with, or information about their child is very important to them.

  • Persons considering the permanent care of a child attend an information session, complete the necessary paperwork which includes police and medical checks and attend a two day training course at an adoption and permanent care service. The assessment process takes approximately three to four months and the entire process from enquiry to accreditation can take up to twelve months. However, there are no guarantees of a placement. A child will be placed with the best available family chosen by a panel from a non-identified list of three parent profiles.

  • Anglicare Victoria will provide placement support in the way of advice, referral to specialist services as well as financial support.

    Post legal support is available to permanent care families after a permanent care order is made. Financial support is available through caregiver reimbursements that are provided by the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria. Flexible funding packages are also available to existing permanent care placements through Permanent Care and Adoptive Families Victoria – your permanent care service can provide information to you about this.

  • There are four steps to becoming a permanent carer:

    • Register your interest by contacting one of the following Anglicare Victoria offices:
      • Bairnsdale
      • Bendigo
      • Leongatha
      • Morwell
      • Warragul
      • Yarraville
    • Attend the Education Group
    • Participate in the assessment
    • Become accredited