Victorian Carer Register

Part 3.4 of the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 (the Act) establishes the regulatory framework for the registration, reporting, investigation and disqualification of out-of-home carers. It is an important safeguarding mechanism to improve the safety and wellbeing of children and young people who are placed in out-of-home care.

Out-of-home care services must check if a person is disqualified from the Victorian Carer Register before they have contact with children in out-of-home care. This is done by completing a disqualified carer check.

Failure to undertake a disqualified carer check may result in the registered out-of-home care service being penalised under the provisions of section 120 of the Act.

Registration

Registered out-of-home care service providers must:

  • Complete a Disqualified Carer Check before employing or engaging an out-of-home carer, or approving a foster carer
  • Ensure they are registered within 14 days of their appointment.

The registration requirements of the Victorian Carer Register apply to a specific subset of ‘out-of-home carers.’ Please refer to An Overview of the Victorian Carer Register Process document for further details and definitions, including who is in scope of these requirements.

Reporting

Allegations of physical or sexual abuse by a registered out-of-home carer against a child placed in their care must be reported to the Secretary once a reasonable belief is formed. This is known as a section 81 or section 82 Report of Abuse.

To make a report to the department refer to Section 81/82 report abuse form

These reports are made in addition to:

Independent investigation

Following a report under section 81 or 82 of the Act, the Secretary will determine whether an independent investigation is warranted.

Further information about reporting allegations to the Secretary and the process undertaken to investigate those allegations, refer to Allegations of abuse of children in out of home care (word).

Disqualification

An out-of-home carer will be disqualified from being registered on the Victorian Carer Register if the Suitability Panel determines that the person has physically or sexually abused the child and considers that the person poses an unacceptable risk of harm to children.

eLearning module

The Victorian Carer Register eLearning module will assist out-of-home care services understand and comply with their statutory obligations under Part 3.4 of the Act, including the regulatory framework for the registration, reporting, investigation and disqualification of out-of-home carers.

Child Safe Standards

 All Victorian organisations that provide services or facilities to children are required by law to comply with the Child Safe Standards.

The Child Safe Standards are comprised of three overarching principles and seven broad standards. These have been designed to drive cultural change in organisations, so that protecting children from abuse is embedded in the everyday thinking and practice of leaders, staff and volunteers.

More information

For further information about the Victorian Carer Register please see the Resources section below.