Quality Assurance Framework (QAF)
The QAF will provide OOHC caseworkers with access to reliable information about the safety, permanency and the wellbeing of children in statutory OOHC
Follow the Implementation
Family and Community (FACS) is trialling the QAF in the following OOHC services areas, supported by the Parenting Research Centre:
- FACS Mid North Coast District
- MacKillop Family Services
- Key Assets
- Burrun Dalai Aboriginal Corporation
Positive results with carer reports
Some carers have completed three rounds of questionnaires on emotional and mental health of the children and young people in their care over a 12 month period. With this they are able to compare results and outcomes of supports they have implemented over this time.
Through the trial process it was identified that the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) will be the tool used in the QAF across all sites as we move into the implementation phase and beyond. This allows for consistency, no matter what agency or location the child or young person is supported, whilst in OOHC.
Feedback from the trial sites has reported that the SDQ are helping case planning by identifying the need for additional supports like occupational therapy, extra-curricular activities and school supports.
Working with Aboriginal people
We have been working in partnership with various Aboriginal agencies and networks to develop a practical way to ascertain where each Aboriginal child or young person (9-17 years) is at in terms of cultural connectedness. This information is then used by the caseworker to identify areas of cultural knowledge that can be supported in the child or young person’s Cultural Support Plan.
Learning about your culture is a life long journey; it is not expected by Aboriginal people or FACS that non-Aboriginal casework practitioners will teach the child or young person about their culture. As a casework practitioner, you need to access Aboriginal community members who have the skills in providing cultural support or leadership to gain cultural knowledge.
The Aboriginal Cultural Connections Questionnaire (ACCQ) in the Self Report, gives each Aboriginal child or young person from 9 to 17 the opportunity to reflect on their knowledge of kin, county and connections. The information provided by the ACCQ allows all caseworkers in any agency to support Aboriginal children and young people with their cultural needs no matter what their placement situation.
Key partners, and leaders, in the development of the Aboriginal Cultural Connection Questionnaire are:
- Burrun Dalai Aboriginal Corporation to develop a tool to measure cultural connections, and implement the domain at the NGO trial sites
- FACS Aboriginal Reference Group – consulting on the development approach and currently tailoring the cultural elements of the QAF for roll out within FACS
- QAF Task Team – a project reference group comprising Burrun Dalai, AbSec, FACS Western Cultural Connections Team, Aboriginal Reference Group, various Academics where needed, FACS Aboriginal Outcomes.
Child Overview takes form
The trial sites have been receiving Child Overview summaries quarterly, containing information about safety and permanency. Over the trial period this has grown to include education information as well as wellbeing outcomes. The information presented in the Child Overview continues to grow with the addition of the Cultural and Spiritual identity Domain to be added in the second half of 2019.
Currently information includes:
- Risk of significant harm (ROSH) reports received, days in placement, placement type and stability.
- NAPLAN and school attendance from NSW Department of Education
- Information from the children and young people themselves around Safety, Permanency and Multicultural identity
- Wellbeing information from Carer reports (SDQ)
Streamlining the QAF
We are capturing the carer and self-reports online, using a child friendly system called Viewpoint. We are also in the process of working within FACS to integrate the QAF into Childstory.