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Record number of caseworkers helping families stay safely together

Last published on 30 Nov 2018 in Media releases

New figures released by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) show the number of caseworkers helping families in need has reached a record high.

The caseworker vacancy rate remained at zero per cent across NSW in the September 2018 quarter, down from five per cent during the same time last year.

The number of actual full time equivalent caseworker roles is at a historic high of 2,250 people, thanks to dedicated recruitment and retention strategies.

An additional 58 caseworker roles were funded for the 2018-19 financial year, on top of an extra 75 caseworker roles funded in the 2017-18 Budget.

The annual caseworker vacancy rate for 2017-18 is three per cent, down from five per cent in 2016-17.

FACS Secretary Michael Coutts-Trotter said caseworkers had seen more than 15,000 children in the six months to September 2018.

“We are committed to the continuous improvement of our child protection system to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable families,” he said.

“Major reforms to the child protection system will deliver long term improvements and we are already seeing the results of the work so far.”

In 2017-18, FACS caseworkers saw 26,196 children and young people or 28.5 per cent of all children and young people at Risk of Significant Harm.

Early intervention work means fewer children are entering out-of-home care in NSW.

The number of children entering out-of-home care decreased by 44.5 per cent between 2015-16 and 2017-18.  The number of Aboriginal children entering out-of-home care dropped by 42.4 per cent over the same period.

Where the caseworker statistics come from:

The Caseworker Dashboard was introduced into 2013 as a transparent tool to track where frontline staff and services are most needed in NSW.

Caseworker data is sourced from the annual and monthly reports produced for FACS by its Corporate Services division and verified by an independent auditor.

Caseworker information is published in the FACS Annual Report. Historically, this information has been based on headcount and has excluded casework specialists.

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