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Matching Assessment Activity

This activity is designed to help you as the carer or applicant articulate what type of placement you feel may be best ‘fit’ for you and your family. Please take the time to answer the questions carefully and these will then lead you to a number of case scenarios to consider relating to the ‘type’ of placement you wish to consider. Answers to the case scenario questions will be sent to your assessor to assist with completing your Initial or Renewal/Review assessment. The exercise may take up to approximately 30 minutes.

Your Details

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Type of Placements

Please read the following descriptions and tick any boxes which you feel will apply (you can tick more than one):

This typically is a full-time primary placement without any prior warning and can occur within 24 hours; more often with as little as 1-2 hours notice. This is usually due to a child being removed from a harmful situation or a placement has ended unexpectedly and a new one is needed imminently. It can be for any time limit; as short as 24 hours, to a week, to two months, all the way up to 2 years (or longer if the child’s orders change & carers are agreeable to keeping the child or young person in placement long term).

This can be both planned or unplanned. Typically, SBCs (otherwise known as respite carers) can offer one-off or regular respite sessions for children in primary placements who’s carers need a break, are unwell or have on events/travel for which the foster child cannot attend. Sometimes it can also be to build a child’s ‘village’ and ensure continuity of care if/when primary placements end. SBC can be for one night however most often is two to three nights over a weekend (Friday after school until Sunday evening or even drop off at school on Monday morning). However, SBC can be much longer -  school holidays for two weeks or more; weeks when children are on exclusion from school and primary carers aren’t available during the day to care for them; primary carers have overseas or interstate holidays and the f/c cannot attend (ie birth parents do not give permission, or carers cant afford to take them, or they don’t have passports for the child). Some respite placements become primary placements when the primary placement ends and the child is placed in ‘respite’ until an alternative primary placement is found; if nothing suitable is found, the respite placement becomes the new primary placement.

This type of full-time primary placement may start as an Emergency, Short Break or simply as a new placement. ‘Short Term’ usually refers to 12-24 months however there is no hard or fast rule. Usually the placement is a with a child or young person whose case plan is reunification; ie the child is on a Short Term Child Protection Order (of up to 24 months) although it is not always the case.

The placement requires carers who can support family contact and all things related to reunification. They need that careful balance of building attachment and connection with a child with the very clear view they will (likely) be returning home or to kin in the future. However, the case plan may change for the child; they may have their order transferred to be a Long Term Guardianship to the Chief Executive (LTG-CE) and that means the carers need to consider whether they will remain the child’s carers and become their ‘forever family’….which may not be what they originally wanted.

This typically is a full-time primary placement that may have commenced as emergency, respite/short break or short-term and has become a long-term placement as the child is on a Long-Term Guardianship to the Chief Executive order (LTG-CE). This may have commenced when short-term carers decided to transition the child to a long-term placement once the LTG-CE was approved. 

This means the child, whatever age they commence with the placement, is to remain with the carers until the age of 18 and beyond. They are what we consider the child’s ‘forever family’. 

Thank you for your submission.
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