Providing education and support to deliver better outcomes for children and families in permanent care and adoption

Flexible funding


These guidelines will assist families of permanent care, special needs adoption and family court order who also recieve the DHHS Carer reimbursement allowance.

Policy context

Flexible funding can be provided to permanent carers to help meet additional needs of a child in their care.  A permanent care order confers parental responsibility for the child on the permanent carers, to the exclusion of all others. Permanent carers continue to receive a carer allowance to assist with covering the costs of care, including the education and medical allowance. 

Principles

Flexible funding:

  • may be approved to cover partial, full, or ongoing costs
  • will only be provided when the cost of the service, product, or activity, is beyond that reasonably covered by an existing care allowance, or other sources of funding
  • cannot be used for salaries, or professional development
  • may be provided directly to a retailer, service provider or a carer (on exception).

Target group

Flexible funding requests can be considered when:

The child or young person is subject to a permanent care order made in Victoria, residing in an ongoing permanent care placement.  Carers receiving the Victorian Department of Health and Human Service carer allowance for permanent placements where the child is subject to a Family Court order, or a Special Needs Adoption can also apply.  

What the funding will cover

Permanent carers continue to receive the carer allowance once a permanent care order is made, which includes an allowance for education and medical costs.  Flexible funding is only available when all other funding options have been exhausted, and no other source of funding exists.

The funding may be used to:

  • support access to services to address the therapeutic needs of a child which result from trauma or negative experiences 
  • support a child to access additional educational support not covered by the education allowance
  • support additional health and medical needs of the child not covered by the medical allowance, Medicare, or private health insurance 
  • preserve contact between parents, siblings and family members
  • preserve cultural identity
  • provide access to respite care
  • cover costs related to child care beyond other subsidies
  • assist with home modifications provided they are essential 
  • assist with essential vehicle requirements such as modifications, car seats, and upsizing
  • assist with other services essential to support the placement.

The funding is NOT to be used for: 

  • legal costs
  • staff salaries or professional development.

How to apply?

  1. You will need to complete the Flexible Funding Carer Application Form which can be found here
  2. You will need a copy of the Statutory Permanent Care order with court reference number in the top right hand corner.
  3. Please arrange a quote for the service you wish to utilize and either email the documents to flexifunding@pcafamilies.org.au or  fax (9614 1774) 
  4. A staff member will then call you to complete the application over the phone.
  5. You application will be allocated to a staff member who will contact you to discuss the application. This may take up to 14 days.  
  6. Your application will then be presented to the CEO and/or Alliance members for approval/rejection or part payment. This decision can be reviewed, please refer to the policy listed below.
  7. You will be notified by PCA Families of approval.  

How to provide feedback or request a review of decision?

The policy for feedback, complaints and review is here

 

Please call PCA Families on 03 9020 1833 if you have any queries or email info@pcafamilies.org.au 

 

To read the DHHS fact sheet for parents and carers click here