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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
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Being in out-of-home care brings about a unique set of experiences and challenges. This topic aims to provide support and resources to individuals in such situations, helping them navigate through the healthcare system, understand their rights, and ensure their well-being is prioritised. It’s a guide to empower and assist in making informed decisions during this phase of life, ensuring a supportive and nurturing environment.

If you are in or leaving Out of Home Care learning about the health system can help you to feel confident in managing your own health.

What is a Health Management Plan?

Out of Home Care is a term used for children and young people 0 to 17 years old who are unable to live with their parents. You might live in long-term foster care, with a relative (kinship care), or in residential care.

In NSW, young people in statutory (meaning ordered by a court) Out of Home Care will normally have a Health Management Plan written by a health professional.

The plan is specific to you and includes:

  • Details of your current health
  • Your health needs
  • A plan for how your health needs should be managed, including which health services can help and when your plan should be reviewed. Including how to get your vaccinations and proof of your COVID immunisation status.

If you need to visit a doctor, ideally, you will already know a doctor (GP) or have a regular doctor who you can go to. Having a regular doctor means that whenever a health issue comes up you can see someone you already know and trust.

Want to book a doctors appointment on your own?

If you don’t have a regular doctor, you can have talk to your carer, a youth worker, or your DCJ (Department of Communities and Justice) or NGO (Non-Government Organisation) caseworker and ask if they can help you access the right health service for you and set up a relationship with a doctor who you can see regularly.

You can also talk to a support worker or another adult that you trust.

If you want to book an appointment on your own the Visiting the Doctor topic explains how to make an appointment, what you need to bring, and how to pay for the appointment (or use Medicare if you are eligible).

At a certain age you will start to take over managing your own health. This means you will be in charge of managing your health needs, like medication, doctor’s appointments, going to the dentist, or appointments with other healthcare providers.

The Create Foundation have information for young people in out of home care about visiting a doctor or dentist, and other health information that can be useful to you.

To learn more about different health topics that interest you, see Common Health Topics where there is lots of information on different areas of your health, including links to health services, resources, and support specifically for young people in NSW.

What supports are available?

Some areas have youth health services with health professionals who are experts in supporting young people to access the health system. Services are provided in a comfortable and relaxed, youth-friendly environment.? To find a local youth health service visit NSW Youth Health Services.

Each Local Health District has an Out of Home Care Health Pathway Coordinator for children and young people who live in statutory Out of Home Care. The Health Pathway Coordinator arranges for you to have a health assessment when you enter care or are getting ready to leave care.

They can help you to find health services that are right for you while you are in Out of Home Care, which is recorded in your Health Management Plan, and can help you manage your health needs as you transition out of care.

You can find a list of OOHC Health Pathway Coordinators here.

If you are in out of home care, or if you are leaving care, you can visit Child Story.

Child Story is a website for 15 to 25 year old’s who are currently in, or have been in, out of home care.

The Child Story website helps you to plan for your future, know your rights and access support, including support and planning for your health and access to health services.

You can also see the Resources and Services page for more online and over the phone health support.

Frequently asked questions

Got more questions? We’ve got you covered. Here are some commonly asked queries about this topic to help you understand it better. Remember, no question is too small or too big – we’re here to help!

What is Out of Home Care?
It refers to care provided to children and young people aged 0 to 17 who cannot live with their parents and may live in foster care, with relatives, or in residential care​.
A personalized plan written by a health professional, detailing your current health, health needs, and how these needs should be managed including vaccinations and COVID immunisation status​.
You can talk to your carer, youth worker, or caseworker to help set up a relationship with a regular doctor, or learn how to book an appointment on your own through the “Visiting the Doctor” topic.
Various supports are available including youth health services, Health Pathway Coordinators in each Local Health District, and online resources like Child Story for planning, understanding rights, and accessing health services​.
Resources like the Create Foundation and the Common Health Topics page on Ask for Health provide information on visiting doctors, dentists, and more, along with links to health services and supports specifically for young people in NSW​.
Youth Health Services, community health centers, and general practitioners (GPs) can provide support during this transition.

Need emergency assistance?

As the peak body for young people and youth services in NSW, Youth Action does not provide direct referrals to support services. If you are in distress or require urgent assistance, the following support lines are available.

If there’s immediate risk of harm to yourself or other, please call:

Lifeline: 13 11 14 (Crisis & Suicide prevention support 24/7)

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 (Mental health support 24/7) 

Link2Home: 1800 152 152 (For those experiencing homelessness 24/7)

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 (24/7)

ParentLine: 1300 1300 52 (9am to 9pm weekdays, 4pm to 9pm weekends)