Out-of-Home Care Philanthropic Funders Network

About the project

The Out-of-Home Care Philanthropic Funders Network (the OoHC Network) is a collaborative group of philanthropic organisations with a shared interest in improving the outcomes of children and young people at risk of entering, or with an experience of, out-of-home care (OoHC).  

Since its inception in 2017, the OoHC Network Project provides a unique forum for its members to learn about the child and family services sector including trends, evidence and innovation in OoHC in Victoria and other jurisdictions. The OoHC Network also facilitates collaboration of both the philanthropic and child and family services sectors.

In 2017 The Centre, Equity Trustees and the Sidney Myer Fund & the Myer Foundation commenced a partnership to deliver the OoHC Network Project. Since 2019 the OoHC Network has been solely funded by Equity Trustee’s with funding from the Mars-Stride Trust, The David Taylor Galt Charitable Trust, R.M. Ansett Trust and The James Raymond Hartley Charitable Trust. The Centre provides a key role in the OoHC Network through the provision of knowledge and expertise, plus its strong relationships with a range of stakeholders including the OoHC sector, State Government and those working in policy and research fields.

The Centres advocacy for the rights of children and young people, in particular for those with an experience of OoHC brings a whole of system perspective of both the challenges and innovations and highlights the systemic change opportunity for philanthropy. 

Creating impact: Lessons learned from the Out of home Care Philanthropic Funders Network

The OoHC Network is a successful example of collaborative philanthropy that has made a strong impact in the OoHC sector in Victoria through the contributions of a diverse range of philanthropic organisations in partnership with the OoHC sector. The case study on the OoHC Network discusses what collaborative philanthropy is and outlines the purpose, activities and successes of the OoHC Network and provides an overview of the OoHC Networks journey and key features of its collaborative philanthropy approach.  

Innovation Grants

The OoHC Network members shared focus and commitment has, and continues, to deliver partnerships and collaboration to enable innovation grants for the OoHC sector that focus on co-designing and building the evidence base for innovation.

To date the OoHC Network has facilitated over $1m in funding across two grant rounds to support innovative programs in the OoHC sector.

Innovation Grant 1

Brighter Futures Transformation Pilot

Brighter Futures is a collaboration across multiple organisations, lead by Anchor Inc. which partners with community service organisations, local business and, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Department of Education and Training, to support young people aged 15-23 years with an OoHC experience to achieve their learning goals relating to education, employment, health and wellbeing and housing by fostering meaningful and sustainable relationships between young people and their local community. Brighter Futures also raised awareness of the need to support young people prior and post OoHC care, directly supporting the Home Stretch campaign (to extend support for OoHC leavers past their 18th birthday) and program elements inputted into the design of a universal leaving care platform of support by DHHS, in the Better Futures Program.

This project ran from June 2018 – June 2020.

Innovation Grant 2

Growing Up Aboriginal Babies At Home

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA), in partnership with Melbourne University Department of Social Work, will work with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and their partners who are identified at risk of their babies or very young children being placed in OoHC, or if removal has already occurred, seek reunification with their babies. VACCA will work with these mums to keep their children safe, well and meeting their development goals.

The project will be evaluated throughout, and learnings captured and disseminated to community service and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to inform and improve their practices.

The project is due to commence in October 2020.

Innovation Grant 3

The OoHC Network and the Centre are delighted to announce that the process for the third innovation grant, for the 2021-22 financial year, has begun.

The first step involved an Ideas for OoHC Reform survey which captured the sectors ideas of what is the most pressing area of need for reform in OoHC and where can there be innovation or systems change. We had a fantastic response to this survey which was used to inform the next stage.

In March 2021 two workshops were held with the sector. Workshop 1: Capability Building For Innovation and Collaboration and Workshop 2: Ideation and collaborative dialogue. Opportunities for Innovation.

This second workshop provided a summary of the Ideas for OoHC Reform survey results, and building on those, provided a fantastic opportunity for the sector to co-design the focus area of the OoHC Network’s third innovation grant round. 

We look forward to sharing the next steps in the Innovation grant program over the coming months.

Other Resources

Capability building for innovation and collaboration Workshop, March 2021

In March 2021 as part of the OoHC Network’s process towards the third innovation grant round, The Centre, on behalf of the Network ran a workshop to build sector understanding and capability in collaboration and innovation. The slides are available and a recording of the workshop is available to watch.

COVID-19: What you need to know about Philanthropy and the Child and Family Services Sector, June 2020


If you have a query relating to the Out-of-home care Philanthropic Funders Network project please contact Rachel Anderson at rachel.anderson@cfecfw.asn.au

This project is supported by:


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