Care allowance

Follow this procedure when establishing a care allowance for kinship carers or for foster carers. This procedure also applies following the making of a permanent care order.

Document ID number 1116, version 4, 22 November 2018.

Introduction

The department provides assessed and approved foster carers, kinship carers, permanent carers, and pre-adoptive and additional needs local adoption carers with a care allowance to assist in providing care for children who cannot live with their parents following intervention by child protection. The care allowance contributes to the costs incurred while providing care and is paid fortnightly by the department.

Procedure

Case practitioner tasks

Kinship or foster care placement

  • Initiate a care allowance as soon as possible and not more than three days after the commencement of a kinship or foster care placement. Complete the Form B ‘Commence care allowance’ in CRIS.
  • For a kinship placement generate and submit the Form B on CRIS.
  • For a foster care placement generate and submit the Form B on CRIS/SP.
  • Provide the ‘Authorisation for Direct Deposit of Care Allowance' form (available at Kinship care forms) with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to a new carer. Upon completion, the carer returns the form to the Care Allowance Helpdesk, Department of Health and Human Services, GPO Box 4032, Melbourne 3001 or by email to caregivers.mgt@dhhs.vic.gov.au. Advise the carer they cannot receive a care allowance until this form is processed.
  • If immediate assistance is required to establish the placement, consider recommending to the team manager that client support funding is required.
  • For special negotiated adjustment requests, complete a Form E ‘Special negotiated adjustment request’. If approved by the assistant director, child protection, or area operations manager, attach the completed Form E to Form C ‘Change of details care allowance’ and submit in CRIS within three days of approval.  
  • When a kinship placement ceases, complete a Form B ‘Cease care allowance’ form in CRIS and submit on CRIS within three days.
  • Initiate and maintain accurate placement record in CRIS.

Kinship or foster carer becomes permanent care parent

  • Cease kinship or foster care placement in CRIS, and create permanent care placement.
  • When a foster care placement is changed to a permanent care placement through a permanent care order, generate and submit Form C ‘Change of details for care allowance’ and the ‘Commence care allowance’ form in CRIS/SP. .
  • Refer to Financial allowances and resources - advice for additional information about payments to clients, their family and carers.

Consideration can be given to the reasonable provision of back pay where a care allowance is not instated at the commencement of a placement due to an oversight by the department, or was ceased in error. Decisions about back pay are made on a case by case basis and subject to the approval of the team manager, child protection if less than six months, or the Assistant Director, Out of Home Care if the proposed back pay recommended by child protection is more than six months.

Team manager tasks

  • Review proposals for kinship placements.
  • Endorse a kinship placement if in the best interest of the child.
  • Endorse the ‘Commence care allowance’ form.
  • Endorse back pay of a care allowance if the proposed back pay is less than six months.

Assistant Director or Area Operations Manager tasks

  • Endorse special negotiated adjustment requests.
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