Caseworker vacancy drops to lowest ever rate in March 2016 quarter

27 May 2016

The state-wide caseworker vacancy rate has dropped to a new low of 3 per cent in the March 2016 quarter, data released today by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) has revealed.

The rate is the lowest recorded since the inception of the dashboard in 2013, and FACS Secretary, Michael Coutts-Trotter said the improvement was down to a continued focus on frontline recruitment efforts in regional, rural and metropolitan areas.

“Our state-wide recruitment is beginning to pay dividends, with the vacancy rate cut in half compared to the previous quarter,” he said.

“We’ve seen notable improvements that have had a significant impact on the overall vacancy rate – South Western Sydney and Western Sydney have both met our caseworker target levels, while Murrumbidgee is making inroads on reaching its target, reducing its vacancy rate by a further five per cent in this quarter.”

The 12th dashboard also shows a 7 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of children who are receiving face-to-face assessments from caseworkers – the highest rate reported to date.

“There were 1,496 more face-to-face assessments completed compared to the year prior, meaning we’re assessing more children than ever before,” Mr Coutts-Trotter said.

The caseworker dashboard is published quarterly on the FACS website.

The current caseworker dashboard and previous dashboards can be viewed here.

Where the statistics come from

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

Performance data are sourced from the FACS Child Protection Client database called Key Information and Directory System (KiDS) Corporate Information Warehouse.

Caseworker information is published in the Department of Family and Community Services Annual Report. Historically, this information has been based on headcount and has excluded casework specialists.

Performance and activity data are also published in the Department’s Annual Report. Detailed data are published online in FACS Statistics.

What do child protection caseworkers do?

Mr Coutts-Trotter said anyone wanting a great insight into child protection work should read the stories in Shining a Light on Good Practice in NSW 2015.