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Policies and guidelines
Policies and guidelines for funded services
Agencies funded by FACS must operate in accordance with their contract and with legislation, policies and guidelines relevant to their program funding.
FACS has commenced implementing the Human Services Agreement for new contracts
The contracting portal provides agencies with direct access to their funding and contracting information. The portal allows agencies to view information, respond to requests and upload material online.
All funded agencies must comply with FACS contract governance requirements. Agencies should also familiarise themselves with FACS fraud control plan. FACS uses the National standard chart of accounts for financial documentation with its funded agencies.
Besides meeting contracting requirements with FACS, all funded agencies and their staff must be aware of their child protection responsibilities. The Child Wellbeing and Child Protection – NSW Interagency Guidelines is the key document for providing practical guidance on interagency collaboration in child protection.
The Care and Protection Practice Framework assists agencies to clarify the knowledge and skills FACS requires for good casework practice.
Funded agencies are encouraged to use FACS resources for working with Aboriginal people and communities and its Multicultural Strategic Commitment. The Supporting victims of crime guidelines, Supporting victims of Crime: Information for OOHC NGO caseworkers factsheet, and Working with victims of crime eLearning module provide assistance to NGO OOHC service providers in understanding and meeting their responsibilities towards victims of crime.
Free Safer Drivers Course for young people in OOHC
The Roads and Maritime Services Safer Driver Course is now available, free, to young people in OOHC and care leavers up to the age of 25.
Completion of the Safer Drivers Course will provide young people in care the opportunity to become safer drivers and earn 20 bonus hours of log book credit.
Learning to drive gives young people confidence and encourages independence by enabling access to education, job opportunities and social networks, especially for those in rural and regional communities.
Young people in OOHC and young people who have left OOHC who have obtained their learners driving permit and completed at least 50 hours of log book driving time are eligible to enrol in a Safer Drivers Course under the Roads and Maritime Services disadvantaged learner initiative for free (usually $140).
The 5 steps for enrolment into the course are in this factsheet.
OOHC Health Screening and Assessment Pathway
The OOHC Health Pathway is a joint initiative of Family and Community Services (FACS) and NSW Health aimed to ensure that every child or young person entering statutory out-of-home care (OOHC) receives timely and appropriate health screening, assessment, intervention, monitoring and review of their health needs.
FACS and NGO caseworkers play an essential role in improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people in OOHC by supporting the Health Pathway process. Upon a child or young person entering OOHC, FACS initiates the Health Pathway process by referring the child or young person to the local OOHC Health Coordinator. The OOHC Health Pathways: a caseworker’s guide is available to support FACS and NGO staff through the Health Pathway process.
The OOHC Health Pathways: carer’s guide is also available to support FACS and NGO carers through the Health Pathway process.
Agencies can contact their local Community Services Centre for more information.
Behaviour Support Guidelines for OOHC
The Behaviour Support Guidelines for OOHC provide high level guidance on appropriately supporting behaviour, behaviour support planning, prohibited and restrictive practices for children and young people in OOHC. Although the guidelines apply to FACS staff only, they provide guidance to assist service providers to develop their own behaviour support policy.
It is the responsibility of service providers to develop a behaviour support policy for their organisation and provide behaviour support training for carers and staff that care for children and young people. Service providers are also required to submit their behaviour support policy, psychotropic medication policy and procedure for use of physical restraint as part of their application for accreditation as a designated agency.
Consent to Medical and Dental treatment
The Medical and Dental Consent Tool clarifies who has authority to give medical and dental consent on behalf of children and young people in statutory out-of-home care, residing in either FACS or non-government organisation (NGO) managed foster placements. The Tool provides a guide for NSW Health, NGO and FACS staff to expedite consent procedures and ensure children and young people in statutory care receive timely medical and dental treatment.
This fact sheet on provides an overview of who has authority for providing consent for medical and dental treatments on behalf of children and young people in out-of-home care (OOHC), for whom the Minister for Family and Community Services (FACS) holds parental responsibility and who are being cared for by an authorised carer.
Medicare number processes for children and young people entering OOHC: Information for FACS workers and NGOS
To ensure that children and young people in OOHC are able to have their health needs met it is a requirement that they have a Medicare number to access health services. Medicare will only liaise with FACS on issues relating to Medicare numbers for children and young people in OOHC. This means that only FACS workers can apply to obtain an existing Medicare number or brand new Medicare number and card. This factsheet provides more details about how to obtain a Medicare number or card for children entering OOHC.
Fee-free training for children and young people in out-of-home care
Children and young people aged 15 – 17 in out-of-home care (OOHC) and young people aged 18 – 30 who have previously been in OOHC are now eligible for Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarships.
The scholarships will be in place for four years and people who meet the Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarship eligibility criteria will be able to choose from more than 580 qualifications from Certificate I to Certificate IV, including apprenticeships and traineeships.
To be eligible for a Fee-Free Scholarship, students must be:
- 15 years old or over, no longer at school, living or working in NSW
- aged between 15 and 30 years old when they start training
- an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen
- wanting to study a Smart and Skilled course listed on the NSW Skills List.