The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

2.3.2 Approval of an ACO


This section covers the policy relating to the approval of care organisations to be eligible for FTB.

How to apply for ACO status

Applications from care organisations for ACO (1.1.A.80) status must be made in writing and must include the following information:

  • details about the organisation such as the body conducting it (see example)
  • a copy of the organisation's latest financial statement, unless the organisation is funded by the Commonwealth, a state or territory
  • the number of children resident at the date of application and the total number that can be accommodated
  • full details of the payments received by the organisation for each child's maintenance
  • details of children who are receiving a pension, allowance or benefit in their own right
  • for children not born in Australia (1.1.A.120), whether they
    • have been resident in Australia during the 12 months immediately before the application, or
    • are likely to remain here permanently, and
  • the date that the organisation admitted its first resident.

Example: The body's aims and objectives, the categories of children catered for, and the type of programs or training it provides.

Approval of care organisations

An application from a care organisation for payment of FTB can be approved if:

  • the organisation provides or co-ordinates residential care services to young people in Australia, and
  • the organisation's financial statements support this assessment.

Act reference: FAAct section 20(1) Approval of organisations providing residential care services to young people

Assessment of financial statements

An organisation funded by a state government can readily be accepted as suitable for FTB purposes.

If an organisation seems to be operating on an unsound or a questionable financial basis, Centrelink will request further details.

Adoption & foster care agencies

Organisations such as foster care agencies that arrange pre-adoptive foster care may be accepted as ACOs. While the child is in the physical care of a foster parent, they may be considered to remain a 'resident' of the organisation in the sense that the foster care agency retains responsibility for the child. However each case must be considered individually. If a foster carer claims FTB for a child and is responsible for the daily care and welfare of the child, the foster carer may be eligible for FTB instead of the ACO.

Withdrawal of approval

A delegate may decide to withdraw approval from an ACO and advise the organisation accordingly. Reasons for withdrawing approval may include:

  • the ACO indicates it wants to relinquish its status, or
  • no FTB payments have been made for 12 months.

Act reference: FAAct section 20(2) Revocation

Last reviewed: