Education Resource Hub

To help kids in care thrive in school

All children and young people, regardless of their circumstances, deserve the very best education we can give them.

The Centre has developed a range of easy-to-use resources for professionals working with children in care to support educational engagement. These resources are based on evidence and can be used to inform conversations with carers and educators to help children in care stay connected to learning.

This page will be regularly updated and provide information about relevant training, webinars, forums and information sessions.

Resources

Resources for professionals working with school-aged children in care

For professionals supporting carers

Below is a range of resources that can be provided to carers to help them support children and young people to stay connected to school.

Case Studies

Below is a range of resources to assist professionals to support children and young people to stay connected to school.

FAQs

Under the Out-Of-Home Care Education Commitment: A Partnering Agreement (The Partnering Agreement), all children in Out of Home Care are entitled to specific supports for their education.

In addition to the resources developed by the Centre on our web page, here are some links to Department of Education policies, guidance and resources that might be useful.

There are many people in schools who can help children and young people, depending on the nature of the help required.

Most schools will have a wellbeing team who can support children and young people with general counselling or provide referrals to external services better suited to a child’s needs. Children may have a strong relationship with a particular school staff member such as a wellbeing team member, year level coordinator or assistant principal, who can direct them and their carer to the right person.

For children in care, there are specific school staff members who have specialised roles to support students.

All Government, Catholic and Independent schools should have a trained Designated Teacher. Designated Teachers make sure each child in care has all their requirements under the Partnering Agreement:

Designated teachers also take part in trauma awareness training. They are the main point of contact for Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) and LOOKOUT (see below) for children in care. They may not always have a strong relationship with a child in care, however you can contact them for support around elements of the Partnering Agreement.

Each child in care should have a Learning Mentor, who the child has helped choose. A Learning Mentor is a school staff member who provides regular check-ins with children in care. Learning mentors provide unconditional positive regard and should not play a disciplinary role in children’s education. They are a significant adult for children; someone a child has a good connection to, who helps them feel safe and has the skills to support them.

LOOKOUT Centres are teams of experienced educators and health staff led by a Principal who guide schools, child protection practitioners, contracted case managers and carers to support children in care to achieve their best educational outcomes.

LOOKOUT staff are available to support the capacity of schools, carers, child protection practitioners and out of home care providers through advocacy, advice and guidance on the Partnering Agreement.

Professionals and carers should always speak to the school staff and Principal first, to address any concerns. If you are not satisfied with the school’s response you can contact the LOOKOUT Centre in your region for information and advice.

LOOKOUT Centres are based on the virtual school model. While the LOOKOUT centres aren’t physical centres, staff cover Department of Education regions and can be contacted to support children in those regions. To contact the regional LOOKOUT Centre for your area, take a look at our map.

Children and young people aged between 6 and 17 years must be enrolled in school. It is their right to be enrolled at their Designated Neighbourhood School. However, given the transient nature of many of the placements children and young people in care experience, it may be in the best interests of the student to attend another school or a quality Flexible Learning Option (FLO) outside the student’s residential boundary.

If a child or young person moves to a new placement and is closer to another school it may be in the child or young person’s best interests to remain at their current school where they have supports, networks and friends.

Visit findmyschool.vic.gov.au to find the Designated Neighbourhood School (DNS).

https://www.findmyschool.vic.gov.au/

LOOKOUT Centres can support children and young people in care to enrol in their Designated Neighbourhood School. If a child should be enrolled outside of the Designated Neighbourhood School, it is recommended to contact LOOKOUT in the first instance for support and guidance.

LOOKOUT Centres are based on the virtual school model. While the LOOKOUT centres aren’t physical centres, staff cover Department of Education regions and can be contacted to support children in those regions. To contact the regional LOOKOUT Centre for your area, take a look at our map.

The Tutor Learning Initiative is a response designed to support students whose learning was disrupted by COVID-19. Children are identified by the school to take part in the initiative, which provides free small group tutoring facilitated by a school staff member. Carers are encouraged to speak to the child’s school if they believe this initiative would benefit children they are caring for.

Anglicare Victoria’s TEACHaR program offers one-on-one specialised tutoring to vulnerable children and young people. TEACHaR’s Education Specialists work collaboratively with children and young people, their carers, school staff and other professionals to support attendance and engagement, and improve literacy and numeracy skills. For enquiries, information about referrals and to find out if there is a TEACHaR program in your area, email: TEACHaR@anglicarevic.org.au

There are many avenues of support for carers, including:

Additional supports can be found listed on our Supports for Carers and Support for Kids posters.

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Find a Service

Find a LOOKOUT Centre, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation or other community service organisation in your area:

The Centre for Excellence acknowledges the Tradition Custodians of the land on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Sovereignty has never been ceded and this was and always will be Aboriginal land.
We appreciate and celebrate diversity in all its forms. We believe diversity of all kinds makes our teams, services and organisation stronger and more effective.
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