Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children commissioned a high-level overview of the services for children in out-of-home care in a selection of countries, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, and the United States of America.
The ‘care continuum’ is the complete range of programmes and services for children and young people within child protection systems.
The Care Continuum – Overseas Jurisdictions: Evidence Brief touches on a range of topics, including:
- the need for out-of-home care
- orientation of care systems (the types of child protection systems ie, child protection approach, family support approach)
principles in the provision of care
- key challenges faced.
The primary aim of out-of-home care is to keep children and young people safe. Typically, placement in out-of-home care is a last resort.
Overseas, as in New Zealand, child protection systems face a number of challenges, including recruitment of carers, increasingly complex needs of children and their families, and a growing number of placements.
There are a number of lessons that can be taken from international care systems. These include:
- the design of services with a child and family focus
- providing options for out-of-home care
- promoting professionalism and continuous improvement
- having a multi-agency, integrated approach
- having a prevention and response lens.