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.

Introduction

The department provides assessed and approved foster carers, kinship carers, permanent carers and local needs adoptive parents 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 ‘Commence payment form for caregiver reimbursement’ in CRIS.
  • For a kinship placement forward the endorsed form to the Care Allowances Helpdesk by email at dhscaregivers@dhhs.vic.gov.au.
  • For a foster care placement forward the endorsed form to the Care Allowances Helpdesk by email at caregivers@dhhs.vic.gov.au.
  • Provide the ‘Application for Direct Deposit of Caregiver Reimbursements’ 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, 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.
  • Consider recommending to the team manager that a client or placement support grant be made to the carer if immediate financial assistance is required.
  • When a kinship placement ceases, complete a ‘Cease payment form’ in CRIS and forward it within three days to the Care Allowance Helpdesk by email.
  • 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, complete Form C ‘Change of details’ and the ‘Commence payment form for caregiver reimbursement’ in CRIS. Submit both forms to the Care Allowance Helpdesk by email at caregivers.mgt@dhhs.vic.gov.au.
  • Refer to Financial allowances and resources - advice for additional information about payments to clients, their family and carers.

Team manager tasks

  • Review proposals for kinship placements.
  • Endorse a kinship placement if in the best interest of the child.
  • Endorse the ‘Commence payment form for caregiver reimbursement’.
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