Victorian Carer Register obligations for out of home care

18 April 2023
Registered out-of-home care services that provide residential care and foster care must comply with Part 3.4 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (the Act), which establishes the regulatory framework for the registration, reporting, investigation and disqualification of in-scope out-of-home carers including:

• the Victorian Carer Register (VCR)
• section 81/82 reports of allegations of physical and/or sexual abuse
• The Victorian Suitability Panel, who have the power to disqualify carers from working with children in out of home care (including where the substantiated abuse does not meet a criminal threshold).

The VCR provides increased protection for children and young people in out-of-home care by:

  • providing a mechanism for information about carers that have been disqualified or are under investigation to be disclosed to registered out-of-home care services through disqualified carer checks and
  • notifying all agencies with a current registration or open disqualified carer check for the carer when an allegation of abuse (section 81/82 report) has been received.

Carers in-scope of the VCR are largely foster and residential carers but also include any person employed or engaged by the service to provide ‘services to children’ at an out-of-home care residential facility managed by the service.

Recently, the Human Services Regulator provided a presentation for out-of-home care services about the requirements of Part 3.4 of the Act. This included a detailed discussion of how to determine if a carer is in-scope of the VCR.  A video of the presentation is now available here.

Further resources to support out-of-home care services to comply with the requirements are available at Victorian Carer Register website, including an eLearning module to be completed by out-of-home care staff, prior to accessing the Victoria Carer Register web-based application, for the first time.

A section 81/82 report form and related guidance is also provided to support compliance with reporting requirements and the carer investigation process.

For more information, please contact