Frontline workers seeing more kids

25 Nov 2016

New data released today shows close to 4,000 more children at risk of significant harm have received a face-to-face assessment from a Family and Community Services frontline caseworker in 2015-16 compared to the previous year.

“This is the highest rate of face-to-face assessment reported to date. This time last year, 28 per cent of children at risk of significant harm received a face-to-face assessment – we’ve now increased this to 31 per cent, and we’re committed to improving these numbers,” said FACS Secretary, Michael Coutts-Trotter.

“When you compare the numbers from 2014-15, we’ve seen almost 4,000 more children.

“This quarter the numbers are up by 1,759 more children from last quarter.”

Mr Coutts-Trotter said the department had also made “remarkable strides” in reducing the time it takes to recruit caseworkers.

“We’ve worked tirelessly on improving how we recruit, with a new assessment process that’s significantly reduced recruitment timeframes,” he said.

“Because we’re assessing the right candidates quicker and we’ve accelerated training when caseworkers join us, we’re able to see and support more kids than ever before.

“Casework isn’t for everyone – our frontline staff work every day to protect children and it’s the difference they can make in their lives that brings them to work.”

The caseworker dashboard is published quarterly on the FACS website.

The latest dashboard is published for the first time in an interactive format. Users can now access the results of the September quarter and see the data from all previous dashboards in an interactive way.

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 2016.