Keeping children and young people in out of home care safe, strong and connected

Child and Youth Protection Services continues to progress a major program of reform through the ACT’s out of home care strategy, A Step Up for Our Kids as part of Children and Family Services Reform. This is being done in partnership with stakeholders to strengthen service delivery and improve outcomes for children, young people and their families

Over the past five years, A Step Up for Our Kids has been transformational in reducing the number of children and young people entering care, and in lifting expectations for the outcomes experienced by children and young people who are unable to live safely with their biological family.

A Step Up for Our Kids is delivering real change for families. We will build on this as we take the next steps in this reform to develop the next iteration of A Step Up for Our Kids.

We are committed to improving outcomes for children and young people by:

  • providing earlier supports;
  • supporting all families to flourish, while actively responding to families living in complex environments;
  • reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in the child protection system;
  • improving the experience of out of home care; and
  • improving pathways to exit out of home care through restoration.


What We've Heard So Far

Ongoing engagement with stakeholders over the past five years has given us important insight into the reform experience and learning of stakeholders in the ACT child protection system.

We are currently developing the next iteration of A Step Up for Our Kids, and we continue to seek the views and participation of stakeholders, particularly people with lived experience, to help shape the next stageof the Strategy.

Who have we heard from?

  • Children and young people in out of home care or who have experienced out of home care;
  • Birth families;
  • Carers including foster and kinship carers;
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community;
  • The community sector including current out of home care providers, peak organisations and organisations not funded within the current strategy;
  • Oversight agencies;
  • Other ACT Government directorates and agencies; and
  • The Child and Youth Protection Services workforce.

This insight has been incorporated into two Listening Reports that provide a summary of discussions, engagement themes and suggestions to inform the next stage of the Strategy.

The Stage One Listening Report captures what we heard from stakeholders on their experience of child protection and out of home care in the ACT.

The Stage Two Listening Report has a focus on how diverse communities experience child protection and out of home care in the ACT.


What We Know

Ongoing monitoring and evaluation during the five years of implementation and the current state of out of home care has informed an overview of What We Know in out of home care in the ACT. The overview provides a summary of current shifts and challenges and outlines priorities and commitments in the next stage of reform in out of home care.