Out-of-home care legislation

boy on a couch

The two major pieces of legislation covering Community Services work with children and families are the Community Welfare Act 1987 and the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

The main legislation which outlines legal obligations in the provision of care for children and young people who cannot live with their families is the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

This Act sets standards for Community Services and other agencies which provide out-of-home care (OOHC), including foster care.

New OOHC legislation

Key OOHC provisions contained in certain sections of Chapters 8 and 10 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 were proclaimed in a three-stage program between July 2003 and March 2004.

See more details on the OOHC legislation in our section for out-of-home care community partners.


Adoption of children in care can be facilitated by Community Services under the Adoption Act 2000. 

New regulations

Regulations have been written around existing and new sections of the Act and these are also legally binding.

Community Services staff have been given comprehensive information and training on the implications of the legislation for Community Services, our staff, other foster care agencies and service providers, foster carers, children and young people in care and their families.

Your foster care caseworker or supervisor can answer any questions you might have on how this legislation affects you as a foster carer.

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (24 hours/7 days)