The FCAV is aware of the lack of clarity given to some carers about accessing onsite learning at school for the children in their care.
Current directives are very clear, all children in OOHC, who are well and not displaying any symptoms, are welcome to attend onsite learning at school with NO OTHER evidence required by schools or agencies as to the reason for attendance.
Carers do NOT need a permit to travel any distance to take children to their regular school or other care-related activity.
The FCAV is working to promote these DHHS directives with DET and across the sector on behalf of carers and ensure carers are equipped with this information in order to advocate for themselves as required.
The definition of vulnerable children is laid out in the Stay at Home Directions (Restricted Areas) (No 10) which can be read here and the Stay at Home Directions (Non-Melbourne) which can be found here.
Both of those documents define vulnerable children as one who resides in the care of the State or out-of-home care, which includes foster care (see screenshot below).
There should be no reason for their agency workers or school Principal to request further in writing, nor is there any additional test established around ‘risk’ or ‘trauma’. There should be nothing further required.
Under those directions, DHHS has confirmed again on 11 August that:
the definition of vulnerable children explicitly includes children in out of home care without any additional risk assessment requirements (para 31(a)) – copied below.
carers are able to drop children to and from school as this falls under one of the four reasons to leave home (Leaving premises for compassionate reasons) which explicitly includes when obtaining or providing childcare, early childhood education or school to a vulnerable child or young person (para 7(1)c)). – copied below
carers do not need to seek permits as they are volunteers, not workers, and their reasons for travelling to and from school fall within the guidelines.