Learn about ourOur Purpose

Our vision of success

An effective and well-resourced service system supports children and young people with complex needs to grow up safely and well in out-of-home care, confident that their rights and wellbeing are protected and prioritised.

About the Collective

The Children in Care Collective was established by out-of-home care service providers, practitioners and academics in Australia. The Collective was formed to share information and work collaboratively and proactively on a range of issues for children and young people with complex needs living in out-of-home care. The voice of the young person is paramount in this forum.

The Collective is currently chaired by Life Without Barriers. It meets bi-monthly and the meetings often include a guest speaker.

Our goals

The goals of the Collective are to:

1. Build our practice capabilities based on academic and expert practitioner evidence

2. Partner with others to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care

3. Advocate to ensure the rights of all children are recognised and respected, prioritising the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in care with complex needs

4. Establish a national network of service providers, practitioners and academics working collaboratively and proactively to improve the care of children with complex needs living in out-of-home care.


The Collective consists of representatives from identified service providers, academics and practitioners.  Member organisations are (in alphabetical order):

  • Allambi Care
  • Anglicare (NSW South, NSW West and ACT)
  • Anglicare (Sydney)
  • Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP), University of South Australia
  • CareSouth
  • Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS), Australian Catholic University
  • Key Assets
  • Life Without Barriers
  • MacKillop Family Services
  • Settlement Services International

Membership is open to out-of-home care service providers or leading experts in the field of working with children with complex needs. Applications for membership should be addressed to the Chair. Some academic institutions have elected not to be members but to regularly correspond with the Collective.

Activities and measures of success

In 2018, the Children in Care Collective agreed to measure its success. The Collective focuses on achieving improvements in practice capabilities of member agencies; partnering with others to improve outcomes in the out-of-home care service system; and creating a positive voice for the Collective as an advocate on policy issues for children and young people in care with complex needs.

The activities of the Collective include holding forums aimed at senior professionals as well as management/executives, with a view to encouraging and influencing change within organisations, publishing a regular Bulletin and directly sharing the practice lessons from Collective meetings with staff in member agencies. The Collective also makes submissions and responds to requests from funding bodies and regulators for expert advice on policy and practice in the out-of-home care sector. Information about these activities is available on the Collective’s website.

As part of measuring its success, the Collective regularly surveys member agencies on their views of the Collective’s work in improving agency capability. Respondents to the surveys primarily indicated they thought that there was very useful discussion in meetings about relevant topics and that guest speakers and presentations were highly informative and interesting. The more recent survey indicated a growing sense of the CCC making a positive impact. Feedback from Collective members was also very positive about the forums it has held.

Respondents mostly viewed the forums as contributing to the goals and terms of reference of the Collective, pitched at the right strategic level and providing valuable opportunities for learning and sharing. A question for ongoing discussion is whether invitations to attend the forums are sent to the right people so as to achieve their strategic aim. The Collective will continue to monitor whether its activities achieve their goals.

The Collective isDiscussing these issues.

  • Staff

    Recruiting, training and retaining staff

  • Attitudes

    Shifting the staff mindset to preservation and restoration

  • Learning

    Embed culture of continuous learning and team support

  • Cultural care

    How we can achieve transition of the care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled organisations

  • Cultural carers

    How to recruit more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander foster carers

  • Information exchange

    What can we learn from out of home care models in other states

  • Permanency

    Legislative reforms; permanency provisions and achieving permanency

The Collective isLeading these policy issues.

  • Paid workforce

    Establishing a professional paid workforce to provide out of home care

  • Behaviour issues

    Children with harmful sexual behaviours

  • Adoption support

    Post guardianship and adoption support services

  • After care

    Supporting young people in care up until the age of 25