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Policies, procedures and tools
The success of the transition out-of-home care (OOHC) in NSW from the government to non-government sector depends on how effectively we adapt to working together to grow the capacity of the sector.
Policies, procedures and tools are continually being developed to support the transition and successful, sustainable growth of the NSW non-government OOHC sector.
Agencies can occasionally be required to provide information or give evidence in Court or appear when a need to seek a change to care orders has been identified. While Community Services is formalising procedures, this section features some general information about ways agencies can be involved and the interim procedures in place.
The Child Assessment Tool (CAT) is a new tool used for all new OOHC placements, cases re-entering care, placement changes and transition of carers (and the children in their care) from Community Services to non-government agencies. It identifies the most appropriate level of care for a child, based on their behaviour, and health and development issues.
There are resources and information available to assist OOHC NGOs improve their responses to critical incidents and to think about what OOHC NGOs need to consider in managing critical incidents.
There are a number of partner organisations that can assist OOHC NGOs to develop systems to mitigate the risk of critical incidents occurring and to help them respond and manage when a critical incident occurs.
The resource wall chart is a helpful tool to assist your organisation to begin to think about what needs to be considered in the management critical incidents.
Exception supports and exception placements help to create a flexible out-of-home care system that is built around the need of children and young people.
The care and protection of children and young people is dependent upon shared information. Access to accurate, relevant information will assist organisations working with children and young people to assess risks, make decisions and identify and deliver appropriate services. The NSW Interagency Guidelines contain additional information.
The response a child or young person receives following a disclosure of abuse can be critical to their ongoing wellbeing and in ensuring their future safety and the safety of other children and young people. The relationship between your organisation and JIRT is instrumental to the wellbeing of children and young people, including those who may be identified as the alleged offender/person of interest (POI).
A literature review on the factors that affect the restoration of children and young people to their birth families has been conducted by Neha Prasad and Marie Connolly (Transition Program Office – ACWA) to inform the restoration work currently being undertaken in NSW.
When placements are at risk of breakdown or unplanned placement changes are required, placement mechanisms across the state allow Community Services and non-government agencies to work together at the local level to best meet the needs of children in OOHC.
The Referral Management System (RMS) is a new online system to strengthen transparency, reliability and responsiveness for placement referrals to all NGOs. The RMS is a transparent mechanism for 'real time' placement referrals and complements Placement Matching Panels.
Supporting victims of crime
NGO OOHC service providers have specific responsibilities towards victims of crime under the NSW Charter of Victims Rights. The Supporting victims of crime guidelines, Supporting victims of crime: Information for OOHC NGO caseworkers factsheet, and Working with victims of crime eLearning module are designed to provide assistance to NGO OOHC service providers in meeting their responsibilities to victims of crime.
Individual guides and a flowchart that clearly outline the five steps for smooth and consistent transition across the state are now available for carers, non-government agencies and Community Services staff.
Transition policy papers
Three policy papers endorsed by the out-of-home care transition Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG) to inform implementation of the transition of OOHC service provision from Community Services to the non-government sector.
- Transition Program Office Policy Paper 1: Transition Cohort Priorities
This paper sets out cohort transfer priorities that have been identified in order to show how the transfers will occur over time to non-Aboriginal, partnership and Aboriginal agencies
- Transition Program Office Policy Paper 2: Transfer and Placement of Aboriginal Children and Young People
This paper provides clear direction on the transfer and placement of Aboriginal children and young people
- Transition Program Office Policy Paper 3: Caring for children and young people in NSW
This paper provides an overview of how children and young people are cared for in NSW, with a particular focus on out-of-home care as defined under s135 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.