You may recall that in late 2011, PeakCare hosted the “What’s Special about Specialist Foster Care?” workshop that brought together non-government organisations and representatives from the (then) Department of Communities.
This workshop was used to consider findings of a literature review undertaken by the Department about this form of out-of-home care and inform the development of a new program description by the Department. PeakCare also initiated the collection of feedback from providers of these services to further inform our discussions with the Department about the new program description.
Now known as “intensive foster care” in preference to “specialist foster care”, the “intensive foster care program description” was approved earlier this year, and is now available on the Department’s website
Also available on the same page are the literature review and consultation report that informed the development of the program description.
The program description provides a definition of intensive foster care and sets out the requirements for the delivery of this program. In summary, intensive foster care is described as a program offering placements and intensive support for children and young people in out-of-home care who require therapeutic support for complex and extreme levels of needs. Children or young people are placed in the home of an approved foster or kinship carer (or provisionally approved carer), with intensive support provided to the placement by a non-government intensive foster care service.
The core components of the program detailed within the program description include:
- a therapeutic focus for service provision
- the conduct of intensive case management for each child or young person
- a clearly articulated teamwork approach to caring for the child or young person
- additional training requirements for carers of intensive foster care placements, and
- a clear process for determining whether a carer is suited to providing intensive foster care placements
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