This entry outlines the circumstances in which the expenditure of a large amount of money is appropriate to support a child in the CEO’s care, and the processes for requesting such a payment.
Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities.
Special Purpose Funding Submission and Approval Flowchart
A child in the CEO's care may occasionally require the expenditure of a large sum of money in circumstances other than those outlined in Chapter 3.5: Case management costs - case support costs.
Children who are not in the care of the CEO do not attract special purpose funding.
Expenditure for children in the CEO’s care that falls within any of the categories outlined below must be approved at the Executive Director level. The expenditure is provided from the special purpose funding budget.
Five categories of special purpose funding may be considered for children who are in the CEO’s care. These categories and supporting guidance are outlined below.
This category may be used to support a placement with a Communities approved carer (including general, family and significant other carers). Supports include, but are not limited to, major costs associated with providing services from third parties. For example:
Where a child requires a specialised, transitional high needs or disability placement support, referrals must be made to the Central Referral Team. More information can be found in Chapter 3.4: Placement referral - Child Information Form.
Communities generally views boarding schools as inappropriate for out-of-home care placements for children in care. Exceptions are limited to the specific educational or developmental needs of the child, or geographical location of the placement (that is, a country placement).
In such instances, child protection workers must present a thorough justification to allow for an informed decision when seeking approval. Further guidance can be found in the related resource Boarding
School - Key Considerations Information Sheet.
Note: arrangements for boarding school attendance must be approved by the Executive Director (Country/Metropolitan Services), prior to enrolment, even if special purpose funding is not being sought.
Sometimes carers may need to obtain or access a particular type of vehicle that the family would not otherwise have required if a child/ren in care was placed with them. Child protection workers should be confident that the placement would be long-term for all children placed.
Approval for leased or rental vehicles is limited to:
Vehicle rentals are only a short-term option, and only available through the Government’s mandatory contract provider. For detailed information, refer to Vehicle Rental (in related resources) or on the Procurement intranet site.
Communities does not purchase vehicles for the use of carers, or lease vehicles long term for children in care who do not have a physical disability. However, in circumstances where four or more children have been placed together at the same time, consideration will be given to a request for a one-off grant to assist carers to purchase a vehicle with a higher seating capacity.
The one-off grant will take the form of a financial contribution paid to a registered motor vehicle dealer. Carers must sign an Advice to Carer Agreement where they agree that the vehicle meets the requirements of an appropriate safety and mechanical assessment, and that Communities has no responsibility for the running costs, maintenance or replacement of the vehicle. This agreement must be accepted by the carers before the grant is made.
All payments for vehicles will be made directly to the service provider on submission of a tax invoice addressed to Communities.
There can be special circumstances where it may be necessary to assist carers to make modifications to their home to provide for the particular special needs of a child in care. These require thorough consideration, as this often involves adding value to the carer’s asset (their home).
Approval for home modifications are limited to:
Prospective funding is not/cannot be used as a condition for the carer taking on a large sibling group.
Communities funds the modifications by way of a grant paid direct to the service provider. Carers must sign an Advice to Carer Agreement with Communities where they agree to make a pro-rata repayment of the grant if the children leave the placement within a specified period.
These provisions must be made clear in a written advice to the carers, and must be accepted by the carers before funding is provided.
Payments are made directly to service providers on submission of a tax invoice addressed to Communities.
Occasionally a situation may arise in a child’s life that requires expenditure of a large sum of money outside the normal resources of the Case Support Costs budget and not covered in the categories outlined above.
In such cases, the district director determines if it is justified to seek the Executive Director’s consideration for funding from the special purpose funding budget as a major and extraordinary event.
This category of funding does not cover ‘normal’ large expenditure such as computers, day care, private practitioners, counselling or orthodontic treatment.
This category covers extraordinary situations, but is not limited to:
Payments are made directly to service providers on submission of a tax invoice addressed to Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support division.
Payments for special purpose funding are approved in Assist. A Payment Authorisation Form is generated in Assist and payments are made via EFT or GPC.
Steps to apply for a special purpose funding: