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. 

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 the commencement of the first stage for the innovation grant for the 2021-22 financial year – an Ideas for OOHC Reform Survey.  The purpose of the Ideas for OOHC Reform Survey is to capture your ideas so that the voice of lived experience of OOHC, kinship and foster carers, kinship, foster and residential care workers, workers in community service organisations, community service organisations, researchers, government, and anyone with a passion for improving outcomes for children and young people at risk of entering, or with an OOHC experience are heard. We are keen to hear what is the most pressing area of need, where there can be innovation or system change within the OOHC system, where there are current gaps in the system that could be addressed with the development of an innovative idea or program to support children, young people and families, and how we can ameliorate the impacts of COVID-19.

The Ideas for OOHC Reform Survey is the first step in the OOHC Network Innovation Grant program for 2021-22 and will inform the next steps and design for the grant.  

This is a unique opportunity for everyone to be involved, to influence and highlight an area of need within OOHC and your idea to affect systemic change. We are keen to hear from a wide range of voices and encourage you to complete this short survey plus share this with your colleagues and networks.  The survey can be completed anonymously, and is expected to take between 7-12 minutes. 

It will close on 29th January 2021.

Further information can be found available below:

Other Resources

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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