LOOKOUT: Partnering and Early Childhood Agreements

LOOKOUT 002LOOKOUT was established in 2016 to address the educational disadvantage of the children and young people in statutory Out of Home Care (OoHC).  LOOKOUT aims to raise the profile of the Out of Home Care Education Commitment: A Partnering Agreement and more recently, to support the delivery of the Early Childhood Agreement for children in Out of Home Care.


LOOKOUT recognises education is a protective factor for all children and young people in OoHC and places their best interests and high aspirations for their future at the heart of all decisions about their education and wellbeing.


LOOKOUT is comprised of four educational support centres, one in each Department of Education and Training region (virtual setting) and staffed by a multidisciplinary team including Early Childhood Learning Advisors, Learning Advisors, Psychologist, Koorie Cultural Advisor, Career Education Advisor, Youth Justice Advisor, and Practice Leads for Child Protection, Youth Justice and Multicultural Communities.


LOOKOUT builds the capability of workforces, strengthens the relationships between the service systems, and raises the profiles of the Partnering and Early Childhood Agreements, and provides time limited advocacy for the most complex cases, as well as aiming to improve the monitoring and reporting on children and young people in OoHC.


There are five elements of the Partnering Agreement that are essential for supporting the educational outcomes of children and young people in OoHC, being the:


  • Learning Mentor (LM) who is a teacher or staff member selected in consultation with the student to help them stay connected to their schooling 
  • Designated Teacher (DT) who is the champion within each school for OoHC students, and who with the Principal, is the key contact for the LOOKOUT Centre
  • Student Support Group (SSG) which meets each term to review planning and goals for each OoHC student
  • Individual Education Plan (IEP) developed with the student, which is current and regularly updated with clear and meaningful educational goals
  • Educational Needs Analysis (ENA) which is a report produced by Student Support Services following a process of analysing the social, emotional, educational needs and strengths of the student


LOOKOUT’s vision is for all children and young people in OoHC to be supported and empowered to engage and achieve in their learning, and establish strong foundations for happy, healthy, and productive futures. LOOKOUT staff provide assistance with enrolment, transition, attendance and engagement to improve the educational expectations and aspirations of children and young people in OoHC.


The Partnering Agreement recognises the importance of continued support for children and young people for the first 12 months after a Permanent Care Order (PCO) is made.

Please refer to the:


 “Out-of-Home Care Education Commitment: A Partnering Agreement” and the “Early Childhood Agreement for Children in Out-of-Home Care”. 


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