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Kinship care and Orphan Relative Visa

In June 2012, ISS Australia received generous three-year funding from the Barr Family Foundation for a project on protection and support for children migrating to Australia for the purposes of kinship care arrangements.

The project has been implemented in two streams: first, the provision of support by social workers experienced in international kinship care placements to families and children involved in an international kinship care placement.

The support provided is based on the needs of the family and child or children concerned, and may be provided pre-placement (before a child enters Australia to live with family members) or post-placement (after a child arrives in Australia).

The project’s second stream involves research and advocacy on the situation of children migrating to Australia for kinship care placements, with a focus on placements that do not involve assessments of carer suitability or post placement support.

Home Safe Home

In November 2012, researcher Siobhan Kavanagh was engaged to develop a greater understanding of the issues experienced by children, young people and carers in international kinship care arrangements in Victoria, with a focus on those arrangements that do not involve assessments of carer suitability or post placement support.

Her research has been published as the Home Safe Home report, launched in May 2013.

A copy of the report may be downloaded here.

The report made five recommendations, including a call for changes to the Orphan Relative visa application process which would make assessment of any potential carer’s suitability mandatory.

Further research is being undertaken in completing the three-year Support Me, Support My New Home project.

Final research report

ISS Australia is currently finalising a report on its research activities subsequent to the publication of the Home Safe Home report in 2013.

The research was undertaken by Dr Klaus Serr in partnership with Dr David Rose of the University of Melbourne’s Department of Social Work.

Publication and launching of the research report is expected in early 2016.

ISS Australia gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Barr Family Foundation in making this project possible.