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Moving Forward: Implementing the 'Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children'

Statutory Care Allowance, Australia

Focus 9: Gatekeeping: State involvement in informal care arrangements

In New South Wales, kinship carers are provided with allowances in order to support them in their role of looking children within the extended family. These allowances are at the same level as those of foster carers. Statutory Care Allowance is provided to kinship carers where parental responsibility is with the Minister; while other kinship carers receive a Supported Care Allowance.

The payment regime for kinship carers includes provisions for enhanced rates for children with high and complex needs, as well as additional financial support for goods and services, e.g. medical needs, counselling, and assistance in supporting contact by the child with their birth family. After the new payment system was introduced in 2006, members of carer support groups fed back that this change was of great benefit to grandparent carers in particular. One of the key challenges to overcome in implementing this policy was ensuring that carers were aware of and able to access their entitlements as it was noted that individual managers and workers took a variable approach in pointing out the existence of this allowance.  

For more information see: A Framework of Practice for Implementing a Kinship Care Program

International Social Service, Oak Foundation, SOS Children's Villages International, unicef, ATD Fourth World, Better Care Network, Family for every child, ngo group for the crc, PEPFAR, RELAF, Save the Children, USAID