Pathfinders Out of Home Care for children and young people
Pathfinders provides an expanding program of Out of Home Care (OOHC) covering much of the Hunter New England/North West and Mid North coast regions. The OOHC portfolio currently accommodates around 120 children and young people in foster care, residential care and Transition to Independent Living program (SIL) placements.
For children who need time away from their family, foster care provides a safe and supportive home environment where children can heal and grow.
At Pathfinders, our commitment is for children to experience safe, continuous and stable living conditions, while forming lifetime relationships and a sense of belonging.
Children and young people enter Out of Home Care for a variety of reasons. A child’s stay with us in this program can range from one single night to permanency for 18 years and beyond. Whatever the reason a child enters Out of Home Care and the anticipated duration of care, children can feel confused and distressed. This can be a challenging time.
It is imperative foster carers welcome the child/young person into their homes and family whilst offering support to keep connection to family and culture alive.
Importantly, foster carers work as part of team with the child’s parents and other family members, the Pathfinders caseworker, the Department of Communities and Justice and any other health or educational professionals. Together, the ‘care team’ work to create a safe and nurturing environment that suits the child’s needs and circumstances.
Currently carers are being supported in the following locations- Armidale, Uralla, Moree, Tamworth, Guyra, Inverell, Walcha, Coffs Harbour, Glenn Innes, Muswellbrook, Port Macquarie and Newcastle.
Foster care, how you can help
We have a huge need for carers of all types- but in particular respite and short term care. Carers from diverse backgrounds willing to take on teenagers and children with disabilities, are all very welcome to participate in our foster care program.
Pathfinders provides residential care homes in all our serviced areas/regions. These homes provide safe and consistent care for up to four young people per location.
Residential Care provides safe, stable accommodation for young people usually aged over 12 years who have complex care needs. Young People in our residential homes are cared for by their Direct care team- who are maintained as small groups of consistent workers. The goal of all residential care homes to see the young person move into adulthood- either through restoration to their family or through our Transition to Independent living program (SIL).
Supported Independent Living (SIL)
Pathfinders SIL program currently have around 17 young people aged 16 and over. Young people in the SIL program are provided with support to increase their day to day life skills as they move to independence and adulthood. This may be support to run a household- cook, clean, shop and budget, or help in education and career opportunities, or even support in obtaining driving licences.
Enhanced foster care models
As well as more traditional types of care arrangements, Pathfinders also provides an increasing number of innovative and creative care models- developed to cater to the unique individual needs of children and young people throughout NSW. Currently we support children and young people in a number of Enhanced Foster Care models in Armidale, Tamworth, Muswellbrook and Taree. We believe that the Pathfinders services offered in this enhanced model are sector leading in their quality and innovation and we look forward to collaborating on further development of this model with government and community partners.
Non Placement Support Servive (NPSS)
In addition to home based services, Pathfinders also provides services through its Non-Placement Support. This is a state wide program which operates as a fee for service program providing youth mentors, contact supervisors, transport workers, cultural camps and developmental courses and programs.
For more information visit Pathfinders Out of Home Care and Foster Care services: