Education Expenses

As the school year commences, the FCAV would like to clarify the financial expectations on foster carers.

In line with Department policy, foster carers are required to pay for the day-to-day costs of their foster child’s education; this includes: compulsory school fees, school uniforms, school books and stationery, and school excursions and activities.

Carers should only pay the compulsory components and not the voluntary contribution components of government school fees. While government schools may invite voluntary financial contributions, these should not be paid by carers for children in out-of-home care including:

 

• contributions to a building or a library trust fund

• contributions for a specific purpose identified by the school (for example, additional computers or student-related services)

• general voluntary financial contributions or donations to the school

 

The Department provides home-based carers with an education and medical payment (indexed annually), to assist in meeting the education and health needs of children placed in their care. This allowance is paid as part of the fortnightly care allowance and paid directly into the carer’s nominated bank account.

The education and medical needs of children should be discussed as part of care and placement planning and the case planning process. There will be discussion at care team meetings about the purpose and expectations associated with the provision of the education and medical payment.

Where education and medical expenses for a particular child are extensive and place an unreasonable financial burden on the carer beyond the reasonable use of the care allowance, the case manager and care team should consider other financial support available to the carer and child.

 

For further information about financial support relating to education, see the DHHS website or contact your foster care agency or FCAV.