Out of home care and adoption

Many children who enter into out of home care and adoptive families have experienced grief, loss and trauma either separately or cumulatively. It is crucial that these experiences are recognized in children in out of home care and adoptees, and that this is taken into account when looking at how best to meet their needs.

In 2007 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were more than eight times more likely to be placed in out of home care compared with non-Indigenous children. This equated to over 7,500 Indigenous children at June 2007 (AIHW, 2007). It is important to develop effective and culturally appropriate responses to the high numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in care. These children need to keep connected to their culture and community. Attachment and trauma issues frequently need to be considered.

Other resources

Caring for children who have experienced trauma: A workshop for resource parents

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
Many children in foster or kinship care have a history of exposure to trauma. This workshop is designed to be co-facilitated by mental health professionals and foster carers. The training aims to increase understanding about the link between trauma and a child's behaviour, feelings and attitudes.

Complexity in kinship care

Baptcare with OzChild and Anchor
This research report discusses kinship care, care provided by relatives or members of the child's social network when unable to live with parents, in Victoria.

Loss and grief for children in care

Department of Community, Child Safety and Disability, QLD
A training module that is designed to provide carers with the basic concepts of loss and grief as well as strategies to assist children and young people facing these issues. Developed by Dr Judith Murray and Liz Crowe from the University of Queensland.

Promising Practices in Out-of-home Care - 4 booklets

Secretariat for National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) & Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS)
Four booklets addressing best practice and practical issues of out-of-home care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Carers, Children and Young People

Resources for foster parents and caregivers

Children's Bureau, US
This webpage offers information and materials that support foster parents' and kinship caregivers' wellbeing and their efforts to work with children in care.

Shining a light on good practice in NSW

 2.46 MB pdf

Family & Community Services, NSW
Read the stories from child protection and out of home care.

The importance of attachment in the lives of foster children

 557.13 KB pdf

Centre of Parenting and Research, NSW Government
This resource provides an overview of attachment, how attachment may have been affected in children who are in care and what carers can do to help build new attachment relationships.

Young people at high risk of sexual exploitation, absconding, and other significant harms

Berry Street Childhood Institute
A literature review on young people with high-risk behaviours and their experiences.


Child Family Community Australia

This clearinghouse is through the Australian Institute of Family Studies. It is an information and advisory unit focused on the enhancement of family relationships across the lifespan.