Permanency in casework
In the new system, a child or young person will have a case plan with a goal for permanency within 2 years.
The case plans will be focused on working with families to keep children at home, or find a stable and secure option through guardianship or open adoption.
This will mean changes to how we fund our non-government partners from 1 October 2017. Read more about out-of-home care recommissioning.
The case plan will include different packages based on the child or young person’s individual needs, and not on their placement. To increase the flexibility of the system, there will be a number of funding packages and targeted support packages that can be mixed and matched to suit a child or young person’s individual needs and achieve case plan goals.
New Permanency Coordinator roles
To support this change, we have created over 50 new permanency coordinator roles to help caseworkers plan for a child or young person’s permanency goal.
Permanency coordinators have service system expertise across the child protection and out-of-home care systems. They are a resource for both FACS practitioners and non-government service providers.
The purpose of the permanency coordinator role is to drive better outcomes for children and young people by:
- linking children, young people and families with FACS and non-government service providers in their districts
- advising FACS and non-government practitioners who work with children and young people to help them achieve permanency
- advising practitioners about the most appropriate service packages
- supporting FACS and non-government practitioners to allocate, implement and review service packages that address the needs of children, young people and families
- building collaborative relationships with government and non-government, local community and specialist services to ensure the best outcomes for each and every child, young person and family.
Permanency coordinators are not caseworkers. FACS and non-government caseworkers and their managers are the only people who make decisions about a child or young person.
Shorter-term court orders where they can support permanency outcomes
For many children and young people, FACS will seek far fewer court orders for parental responsibility that last until the child turns 18 years. Instead, we will look at shorter-term court orders to support the permanency goal in each case plan.
The principles guiding change for Aboriginal children and young people
We are working with Aboriginal care service providers to ensure:
- Aboriginal children maintain a close connection with their culture and community
- Aboriginal organisations are positioned and equipped in the service system to keep Aboriginal children safe and cared for with their families.
FACS, in partnership with the Aboriginal Child and Family Community Care State Secretariat (AbSec), is committed to strengthening the workforce capacity of Aboriginal service providers so that Aboriginal children and families can be supported by Aboriginal organisations where it is safe and in their best interests. Aboriginal children and families will be able to access flexible and tailored supports and services within an Aboriginal designed service system to meet identified needs and achieve the best possible permanency outcomes.
This includes expanding the Aboriginal workforce across the care continuum to enhance prevention, preservation and restoration to birth families where possible.
It means transitioning Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care to Aboriginal controlled organisations as capacity develops. This will only occur if it is safe, in the best interests of the child or young person, and their carer agrees to it.
The transition to accredited Aboriginal service providers recognises the value that Aboriginal community controlled organisations have in providing better outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people within a culturally connected environment, while also ensuring safety and wellbeing.
All service providers must work with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relatives and the child’s kin to support family preservation in the first instance, using evidence-based tools like Family Group Conferencing.
FACS, in partnership with AbSec, is developing an Aboriginal guardianship support model so it’s easier to achieve stable, loving and permanent homes with relatives and kin through guardianship for some Aboriginal children and young people.
Download the infographic — What You Need To Know: About how we're building permanency and early intervention into casework.