12.3 Carer support

Foster and relative/kinship care are two types of formal care arrangements provided to children who are unable to live with their families. In the context of relative/kinship care, a relative does not necessarily denote a family blood relation. These carers receive training and support to help them deliver the best care possible in often complex circumstances. Meeting the needs of carers is expected to help meet the needs of the children in their care.

This indicator uses results from a national study of foster and relative/kinship carers of out-of-home care children under the age of 18 years. The survey focused on foster and relative/kinship carers who were registered as a formal carer as at 31 December 2015. Participants responded to questions relating to carer training and development, support services and the perceived usefulness of training and services.

For all indicator displays, where all years of data are comparable over time an ‘All’ category will be provided as an option in the ‘Year’ drop down display. If only a selection of specific years are comparable, these years (e.g. 2017 to 2019) will be provided as an option under ‘Year’ and ‘All’ will not be an option. See the footnotes for this indicator in the supplementary tables hyperlink below for further information.

See the supplementary table for this indicator for further information and footnotes about these data.

Indicator technical specifications

The information below provides technical specifications for the summary indicator data presented in the quick reference guide.

National Standards Indicator 12.3 Carer support: Proportion of carers (who had at least one child in care under the age of 18 years living with them at 31 December 2015) who had undertaken any training courses/workshops in the last 12 months who had found it to be helpful
  1. felt supported in their carer role
  2. had undertaken training in last 12 months
  3. helpfulness of training undertaken in last 12 months
Definition Data source
Numerator
  1. Number of carers (foster carers and kinship carers) who ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ that they felt supported by agencies/services in meeting the study child’s needs
  2. Number of carers (foster carers and kinship carers) who had undertaken any training courses/workshops in the last 12 months
  3. Number of carers (foster carers and kinship carers) who had undertaken any training courses/workshops in the last 12 months who had found it to be very helpful/fairly helpful
AIFS Working Together to Care for Kids: A survey of foster and relative/kinship carers 2016
Denominator

a,b. Number of carers (foster carers and kinship carers) who had at least one child in care under the age of 18 living with them at 31 December 2015

c. Number of carers (foster carers and kinship carers) 

AIFS Working Together to Care for Kids: A survey of foster and relative/kinship carers 2016

Explanatory notes

The aim of the Working Together to Care for Kids study was to provide a better understanding of the characteristics and needs of the carers of children who are living in out-of-home care in Australia.

The population for this study was foster and relative/kinship carers who were registered as formal carers in state and territory departments responsible for child protection across Australia, and had at least one child under 18 years of age in out-of-home care who was living with them at 31 December 2015. The population definition applied to all jurisdictions except the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory did not participate in the study.

Most questions relating to children who were placed under the carers’ care were directed in relation to one child (referred to as “study child” or “study children”). 

See the supplementary table for this indicator for further information and footnotes about these data.