Therapeutic Care Framework

New principles developed to support children and young people in out-of-home care

A new set of principles to guide NSW agencies and carers to provide the best possible care for children and young people in statutory out-of-home care (OOHC) has been developed and was recently released for public comment. Public consultation is now closed.

The new Therapeutic Care Framework for NSW provides guidance on supporting children and young people in care.  It was open  for public comment for three weeks closing 6 December 2016.

At the centre of the framework is trauma-informed care.

Children and young people in OOHC have often experienced trauma, abuse and neglect. They have also suffered after separation from their families or others close to them. This may lead to poor outcomes later in life: developmental, behavioural or mental health issues. These children and young people may require an intensive, evidence based, holistic care approach achieved through a framework that guides practice, and includes therapeutic specialists. This more intensive approach is referred to as ‘Therapeutic Care’.

Trauma-informed care

The needs of those in care who have experienced this kind of trauma are more complex. Work is under way to improve the approach to providing them with individualised Therapeutic Care.

The draft Therapeutic Care Framework for NSW is a set of 16 principles for providing better support to children and young people in OOHC.  The new framework focuses on:

  • developing consistent service delivery of Therapeutic Care (across the OOHC sector) to improve outcomes for children and young people in care
  • providing quality care environments that support positive, safe and healing relationships and experiences, to address complex needs and work towards addressing the trauma experienced 
  • children and young people with complex needs receiving the appropriate level of care, ‘in the right way, at the right time’ (i.e. throughout their continuum of care)
  • Therapeutic Care (trauma-informed casework and care) being provided to children and young people, that is individualised, holistic and culturally responsive
  • building capability across the OOHC sector to enable assessment, and measurement of outcomes, and to determine whether children and young people in care are receiving quality therapeutic treatment and support.

Therapeutic Care

Therapeutic Care is aimed at ensuring those in out-of-home care receive full support (i.e. casework and care) for their complex, individual needs, given the trauma they have experienced.

See the ‘Resources’ section or Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

The reform process has been a partnership between FACS and the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA), and has had input from AbSec and OOHC sector representatives.

Your feedback

The public consultation process closed on Tuesday 6 December 2016.

All submissions/ feedback received during the three week public consultation period are currently being reviewed and considered to finalise the framework.

Feedback submitted will be made available on this page with the authors consent. The final Therapeutic Care Framework for children and young people in statutory OOHC in NSW will also be released once approved.

Thank you to all, both individuals and organisations, who took the time to provide valuable feedback and submissions.