24 Feb 2017
Targeted recruitment programs have been put in place in a bid to attract extra caseworkers to the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).
Data released today shows that 4,527 more children at risk of significant harm received a face-to-face assessment in the period 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016 than in the same period in 2014-15. This is the highest face-to-face child protection assessment rate reported to date.
“We are doing all we can as a department to try and recruit the crucial numbers of caseworkers needed across NSW,” FACS Secretary, Michael Coutts-Trotter said.
“We know that we continually struggle to recruit and retain caseworkers in areas of Western NSW and that is why we have targeted recruitment going on to try and off-set this trend.
“New initiatives like the Mobile Child Protection Unit have helped increase our numbers of face-to-face assessments and have helped us retain caseworkers in rural areas of the state.
“In the first nine months of operation from April to December 2015 the number of home visits in Western NSW nearly tripled. The unit won three awards last year and is going from strength to strength.”
The statewide caseworker vacancy rate also remained stable at four per cent in the December 2016 quarter.
The Caseworker Dashboard is published quarterly on the FACS website.
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.
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.