The ideal place for a child or young person to be raised is within the family of origin or the extended family. At times it may not be possible for a family to adequately meet their child’s needs. This may involve a child or young person living with other family members for a period of time or in one of the out of home care services which are available.
Families often make their own arrangements for assistance or respite care or place their children with another relative until they feel in a better position to provide care themselves. Sometimes a young person may leave home and live with friends or find a place in a youth shelter.
When these solutions are not possible, and a family is unable to meet their child’s needs, the Queensland Government Child Safety Services has the statutory responsibility of ensuring the safety of the child or young person. This may involve removing the child or young person from the family for a period of time, and placing the child or young person with other family members or in an out of home care service, usually foster or kinship care or residential care.
UnitingCare Community describes any living arrangements outside the immediate family as “Out of Home Care”. There are a range of these kinds of services offered by UnitingCare Community.
Youth hostels are usually funded by the Department of Communities and provide accommodation and other support services to assist young people to develop independent living skills. They may also provide assistance with education, employment, legal matters and finding stable accommodation.
UnitingCare Community's Family Lives team work to ensure Queensland's most vulnerable children are placed in homes where they can feel safe and can receive the care they require to grow and develop.
For more information about foster care and Family Lives visit the Family Lives web page.
Residential care typically provides placements for children and young people in houses where care is provided by a team of rostered
youth workers. Children and young people are usually referred to the residential care program because foster care is not appropriate at
the time due to a history of foster care placement breakdowns, challenging or aggressive behaviours, sexualised behaviours or
social skills deficits.
Residential care is a transitional program with the child or young person progressing to either foster care or re-unification with their family of origin.
UnitingCare Community's Out of Home Care services aim to support young people to build resilience and increase their capacity to reach their potential by assisting in developing a positive sense of identity, social skills and the ability to participate actively in the community.
UnitingCare Community adopts the following principles in providing Out of Home Care services:
UnitingCare Community's Residential Care Services are located in the following areas: