We engage thought leaders throughResearch

The Children in Care Collective aims to build practice capabilities based on academic and expert practitioner evidence. It hosts forums and produces research that contribute to improving the out-of-home care service system and outcomes for children and young people in care.


The Collective publishes reports that highlight its own research findings and other work that contributes to improving practice in out-of-home care and outcomes for children and young people.

More Care Required– Research Report, July 2021

The Children in Care Collective has undertaken a small qualitative review of existing and recent plans for care-leavers among member agencies. The review report focuses on the need for a legal framework in New South Wales, together with adequate resourcing, that guarantees access to unconditional stable and secure housing and individualised relational support for all young people leaving care until at least the age of 21 years.

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Health and well-being in out-of-home care – Research Report, June 2020

The Children in Care Collective commissioned the CREATE Foundation in early 2020 to assist in developing and running a youth forum with children and young people in the care of Collective agencies, focusing on health and wellbeing. The first step was a survey of children and young people to ensure that their views informed the issues and discussion at the forum. While the forum was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CREATE’s report on its findings from this survey provides a useful and interesting insight into what is important to children and young people in care and what creates concern when they are thinking about their health and wellbeing.

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Foster Carer Allowances – Advice from the ATO, December 2019

The CCC is pleased to share the results of its discussions with the Australian Tax Office on acceptable non-taxable allowances that may be paid to carers of children with complex needs.

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      Speaker Forums

      The purpose of the forums run by the Collective is to engage thought leaders working in and influencing the out-of-home care sector, hear the latest research, and discuss and debate the best ways to apply this research to practice in New South Wales.

      July 2019 | Caring for children with harmful sexual behaviours (HSB) in out-of-home care forum

      Caring for children and young people with harmful sexual behaviours in out-of-home care was the subject of the Collective’s forum held on 16 July 2019.

      Professor Simon Hackett from Durham University and Chair of the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abuse (NOTA) in the UK and Republic of Ireland and Professor Rachel Skinner from University of Sydney gave presentations on our current understanding of harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) by children and young people and how best to support their carers. Mr Peter Goslett spoke about the work of My Forever Family and its support of carers.

      The presentations were followed by a panel discussion of audience questions, a summary of which is provided.

      Professor Simon Hackett

      Children and young people: the context of care and caring
      Click to view

      Professor Rachel Skinner

      Young people’s sexual development: healthy or harmful?
      Click to view

      Peter Goslett

      My Forever Family: caring for those who care for kids
      Click to view

      Summary of Panel Discussion

      Forum on caring for children with harmful sexual behaviours in out of home care
      Click to view

      November 2019 |Children in care with harmful sexual behaviours forum

      In November 2018 the Collective ran the: Children in care with harmful sexual behaviours forum.

      The focus of the forum was on:

      • Clarifying our current understanding of harmful sexual behaviour by children and young people, how to best address the behaviours, provide treatment for the children and young people and support their carers.
      • Identifying implications for systems, including the need for collaboration, advocacy, policy and research work as well as training, expert advice and treatment options.
      • Identifying practice implications for all out-of-home care service providers working with children with harmful sexual behaviours, including managing risk, communication and collaboration between agencies and identifying the best family-based responses.

      Presentations by three speakers were followed by a panel discussion of audience questions. Professor Helen Milroy, who served as a Commissioner for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, set the scene for the forum by outlining findings of the Royal Commission and the recommendations relating to children with harmful sexual behaviours.

      Dale Tolliday, Clinical Advisor at New Street Services, spoke about using evidence to inform treatment, treatment service challenges, issues particularly evident in out-of-home care and the limitations of commercial products that are not developed or adapted for specific contexts.

      Dr Robyn Miller, Chief Executive Officer of MacKillop Family Services outlined the action research project MacKillop is undertaking in partnership with the University of Melbourne. The objective of the program is to prevent and intervene early in harmful sexual behaviours and child sexual exploitation with children and young people in residential care settings. The panel discussion covered a wide range of topics and a summary is provided.

      Helen Milroy

      Children with harmful sexual behaviours
      Click to view

      Dale Tolliday

      Children and young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviours: using evidence to support treatment
      Click to view

      Robyn Miller

      Preventing harmful sexual behaviour and child sexual exploitation
      Click to view

      Summary of Panel Discussion

      CCC forum on children with harmful sexual behaviour
      Click to view

      Resources from 2017 forums

      In 2017, the Collective ran two successful forums with international guest speakers, Professor Judy Sebba (August 2017) and Martha Holden (September 2017). These forums were invitation only events and were well attended by the members of the Collective and their senior staff, senior staff in the Department of Family and Community Services, Minister Goward’s Office and oversight agencies.

      Professor Judy Sebba

      Motivation to foster, peer support for foster carers and the educational progress of children in OOHC Click to view

      Martha Holden

      Children and Residential Experiences (CARE), Creating Conditions for Change
      Click to view