Support for home based carers in Victoria

Financial support for home-based carers depends on the needs and age of the child or young person in their care.

Home-based carers play a vital role in providing support to children and young people who cannot live with their families. Home-based care includes Foster care, Kinship care, Permanent care and Special needs local adoption placements. 

The Victorian Government recognises the valuable contribution carers make to children and young people's lives and is committed to supporting home-based carers in their important role. Details of the care allowance available to home-based carers are outlined below. 

The Financial support guide for home-based carers outlines the range of Victorian and Commonwealth Government supports that can assist carers in meeting the needs of children and young people in their care.

Client support funding framework

A new statewide client support funding framework came into effect on 1 July 2016, which outlines additional funding that carers may be eligible for to help cover costs for extraordinary expenses. 

This includes the purchase of specific items or services that exceed the day-to-day costs of what the care allowance contributes to or high costs that place an unreasonable financial burden on the carer.

Care allowances

Assessed and approved Foster, Kinship, Permanent and Special needs local adoption carers are eligible to receive a care allowance, where the Victorian Child protection service or a registered community service organisation places a child (aged 0 to 18 years) in their care.

The care allowance is not a 'payment' for being a carer and is therefore not considered to be a source of income for the purposes of annual tax returns, testing eligibility for Commonwealth Government allowances, or when applying for loans from financial institutions.

We pay the care allowance fortnightly and it is intended to contribute to a range of day-to-day expenses incurred in the provision of care.

The Care allowances and other financial support for carers fact sheet for Foster carers, Kinship carers, Permanent carers, and Special needs local adoption is a ready reckoner on the purpose of the care allowance and broadly what it should contribute to, to meet the day-to-day costs of caring for a child. It will also help carers identify and access the full range of available supports.

Care allowance structure and payment rates 2017-2018

Level one

Age         Annual rate        Fortnightly rate
0-7 $10,071 $386.04
8-10      $10,422 $399.49
11-12 $11,543 $442.46
13+ $14,812 $567.76

Level two

Age         Annual rate        Fortnightly rate
0-7 $10,631 $407.50
8-10      $11,553 $442.85
11-12 $13,659 $523.58
13+ $18,754 $718.87

Level three

Age         Annual rate        Fortnightly rate
0-7 $13,868 $531.60
8-10      $14,990 $574.60
11-12 $17,874 $685.13
13+ $24,650 $944.85

Level four

Age         Annual rate        Fortnightly rate
0-7 $26,638 $1,021.00
8-10      $26,638 $1,021.00
11-12 $26,638 $1,021.00
13+ $26,638 $1,021.00

Level five 

Age         Annual rate        Fortnightly rate
0-7 $41,035 $1,573.00
8-10      $41,035 $1,573.00
11-12 $41,035 $1,573.00
13+ $41,035 $1,573.00

*Education and medical payment included in fortnightly care allowance.

Therapeutic foster care

Age         Annual rate        Fortnightly rate
0-7 $17,108 $655.77
8-10      $18,230 $698.77
11-12 $21,114 $809.30
13+ $27,889 $1,069.00

School attendance allowance

Age Annual rate
5-11 years $347.14
12-18 years $520.71

New placement loading (six months)

Level Fortnightly rate
Level one $61.34