Referral Process

October 22, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Posted in Issues for Fostering, Media | Leave a comment
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Recent media articles quoting Wesley Mission’s statitics for the last year stated that

243 children had been placed in foster care but a further 873 children could not be placed due to a lack of carers and resources.

This number is a serious concern but not as alarming as it may first appear to be when you understand the referral process.

  1. When a Home-Based Care placement is required, the relevant State Department (in Victoria it is DHS) contacts the most appropriate agency, based on geographical regions and the types of programs provided.
  2. This agency will perform a matching process, and contact any available and appropriate carers to see if they are able to take on the placement.
  3. If no carers are available or able to take the placement, the agency will advise DHS.
  4. This process is repeated with other agencies in the region, then potentially in neighbouring regions. In most cases a placement is found, even if it is a contingency or emergency placement.
  5. If this is unsuccessful, a child who is appropriate for Home-Based Care may be placed in Children’s Residential Services. It is important to note that some children and young people are assessed as being appropriate for Residential Services straight away. Resi should not be seen as an ‘end of the line’ form of care, but rather as a different form of care which will suit some children and young people more than others.

So, Wesley Mission answered over 1000 calls for placements from the department, was able to place 243 children, but was unable at that time to place a further 873. However, in all likelihood, another agency would have found a suitable placement, either emergency or short-long term.

Obviously we’re all working hard to reduce this number, as the fewer available carers an agency has the less able they are to make a good match. Once again, anyone who would like to find out more should call 1800 013 088.

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