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Permanency and early intervention principles built into casework
In the new system, a child or young person will have a case plan with a goal for permanency within two years.
The case plans will be focused on working with families to keep children at home, or find a stable and secure option through guardianship or open adoption (unless the child is Aboriginal).
This will mean changes to how we fund our non-government partners from 1 October 2017. Read more about out-of-home care recommissioning.
The case plan will include different packages based on the child or young person’s individual needs, and not on their placement. To increase the flexibility of the system, there will be a number of funding packages and targeted support packages that can be mixed and matched to suit a child or young person’s individual needs and achieve case plan goals.
New Permanency Coordinator roles
To support this change, we’ll also be creating 50 new Permanency Coordinator roles to help caseworkers plan for a child or young person’s permanency goal.
Permanency Coordinators will oversee the allocation of resources, connection of children and families to the services they need to achieve permanency within two years, and quality assurance around the implementation of initial case plan goals.
Applications for the Permanency Coordinator roles have now closed.
The allocation of the 50 roles will be determined by the caseworker Resource Allocation Methodology (RAM) for each district. No locations have been identified beyond this. The roles will be advertised as Clerk Grade 9 on an ongoing basis.
The purpose of the Permanency Coordinator role is to drive better outcomes for children and young people by:
- being innovative in facilitating access to services for vulnerable children, young people and their families or kin
- leading service consultancy to support children and young people’s case plan goals
- assisting caseworkers to navigate the service system
- supporting FACS and NGO caseworkers, as well as FACS commissioning and planning staff, to monitor, review and assure the quality of NGO-delivered services
- collaborating with different FACS divisions and NGOs to identify, allocate and access appropriate packages and services
- building collaborative relationships with government and non-government, local community and specialist services to ensure the ’right referral fit‘ for each and every child, young person and their family or kin
- ensuring that FACS, NGOs and other government agencies are all meeting their accountabilities to achieve case plan goals
- supporting FACS commissioning and planning staff to fill any service gaps where they are identified.
Shorter-term court orders where they can support permanency outcomes
For many children and young people, FACS will seek far fewer court orders for parental responsibility that last until the child turns 18 years. Instead, we will look at shorter-term court orders to support the permanency goal in each case plan.
The principles guiding change for Aboriginal children and young people
We are working with Aboriginal care service providers to ensure:
- Aboriginal children maintain a close connection with their culture and community
- Aboriginal organisations are positioned and equipped in the service system to keep Aboriginal children safe and cared for with their families.
FACS, in partnership with AbSec, is committed to strengthening the workforce capacity of Aboriginal service providers so that Aboriginal children and families are supported by Aboriginal organisations, and access flexible and tailored supports and services within an Aboriginal designed service system to meet identified needs and achieve the best possible permanency outcomes.
This includes expanding the Aboriginal workforce across the care continuum to enhance prevention, preservation and restoration to birth families where possible.
It means transitioning Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care to Aboriginal controlled organisations as capacity develops, recognising the value that Aboriginal community controlled organisations have in providing better outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people within a culturally connected environment, while also ensuring safety and wellbeing.
All service providers must work with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relatives and the child’s kin to support family preservation in the first instance, using evidence-based tools like Family Group Conferencing.
FACS, in partnership with AbSec, is developing an Aboriginal guardianship support model so it’s easier to achieve stable, loving and permanent homes with relatives and kin through guardianship for some Aboriginal children and young people.