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Community Services and non-government out-of-home care agencies are committed to supporting carers and children and young people to transfer.
During the transition to the non-government sector, carers, Community Services and agencies will work together to help carers and the children in their care transfer as smoothly as possible.
It’s important for carers to become informed about the steps required for a smooth transfer.
1. Finding out about the transition process and what agencies are in your area.
You can gather information by:
attending a carer information session in your area
requesting an information pack from an agency
attending agency information sessions
visiting www.fosteringnsw.com.au – see the Apply Now section
contacting individual agencies, visiting their websites or
talking to carers who have transferred.
2. Decide which agency to transfer to
Talk to Community Services and local agencies to work out which are available and which will best suit the needs of the child in your care. There may only be one or two agencies available, depending on where you live.
3. Exchange of information and initiating transfer
Non-government agencies and/or Community Services will contact you about transferring. They will provide information about the process and answer any questions you have.
You will need to sign the ‘consent for release of information’ so the agency and Community Services can progress the transfer once an agency has been agreed on. The consent
form allows your personal carer records to be provided to the agency. Once this form is signed, the following documents may be provided to the agency:
carer assessment and associated documentation
annual carer reviews
carer development plan, which includes details of training to be undertaken
Community Services authorisation letter
any letter regarding changes to authorisation, decisions of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal or finalisation from Community Services Reportable Conduct Unit.
Community Services will also provide the agency with brief information about each child placed with you, including the Child Assessment Tool (CAT) report. The CAT is an assessment tool used by Community Services to determine the care level and support required for each child and young person in your care. This is provided to the agency.
A Community Services worker will talk with you about your situation and the child or young person in your care and ask questions to ensure everything is ready for case management transfer.
The agency may also arrange for an initial home visit to begin planning for your carer authorisation process and transition.
4. Transfer and authorisation
Once the transfer has been initiated, Community Services will begin preparing documentation for the case management transfer of the child and young person placed with you. This is the stage where the agency will complete your formal authorisation.
How it happens
The process will vary slightly between agencies. Most agencies have a simpler process, so it won’t mean starting from scratch. However, each agency is required to authorise every carer that transfers from Community Services.
The agency will explain the steps, which will include home visit/s and an assessment. During this time, you will be able to talk about the child’s needs and your needs as a carer and ask questions. The agency will talk with you about how they can support your family and the child or young person in your care.
You'll need to complete relevant probity checks and discuss any training needs. This will inform a written authorisation report and be kept on your carer file with your new agency.
You and the agency will make an agreement about continuing with the authorisation. You may then be asked to complete additional forms, eg signing the Carer Code of Conduct.
Once authorisation is approved, you'll receive an authorisation letter from the agency.
A few points
- If the agency decides to not proceed with the authorisation of a carer, it will be required to provide the carer and Community Services information explaining this decision.
If you decide to withdraw from the authorisation process, speak to the agency and/or Community Services about your reasons for not transferring at this time.
If particular areas of training are identified, the agency is responsible for developing a carer support plan for you, and you'll have the option of agreeing to proceed or withdrawing at this point.
Your agency will advise you and any children and young people in your care of the changes occurring and address any questions about the transition process.