Foster and kinship carers are required to provide a level of care which is consistent with the statement of standards, as outlined in section 122 of the Child Protection Act 1999.

The statement of standards provides a way to measure quality of care and forms a basis for assessing whether a care environment is acceptable. The standards are interpreted with consideration to the needs of each individual child.

The Act outlines the following standards:

  1. The Chief Executive (Director-General) must take reasonable steps to ensure a child placed in care under section 82 is cared for in a way that meets the following standards (the statement of standards):
    • the child’s dignity and rights will be respected at all times
    • the child’s needs for physical care will be met, including adequate food, clothing and shelter
    • the child will receive emotional care that allows him or her to experience being cared about and valued and that contributes to the child’s positive self-regard
    • the child’s needs relating to his or her culture and ethnic grouping will be met
    • the child’s material needs relating to his or her schooling, physical and mental stimulation, recreation and general living will be met
    • the child will receive education, training or employment opportunities relevant to the child’s age and ability
    • the child will receive positive guidance when necessary to help him or her to change inappropriate behaviour
    • the child will receive dental, medical and therapeutic services necessary to meet his or her needs
    • the child will be given the opportunity to participate in positive social and recreational activities appropriate to his or her developmental level and age
    • the child will be encouraged to maintain family and other significant personal relationships
    • if the child has a disability – the child will receive care and help appropriate to the child’s special needs
  2. For subsection (1)(g), techniques for managing the child’s behaviour must not include corporal punishment or punishment that humiliates, frightens or threatens the child in a way that is likely to cause emotional harm.
  3. For subsection (1)(j), if the chief executive has custody or guardianship of the child, the child’s carer must act in accordance with the chief executive’s reasonable directions.
  4. The application of the standards to the child’s care must take into account what is reasonable having regard to:
    • the length of time the child is in the care of the carer or care service
    • the child’s age and development.

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