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Checklist: PAC and AC requirements

Checklist: Permanency Case Planning

List: Case Planning Timeframes

Checklist: Documents Required for CMT

Checklist: Assessment - OOHC Respite Carer

Checklist: Sibling Contact Planning

List: PSP Services

PSP Service Legal StatusDescription
Family Preservation Not applicable Family preservation services are casework services that enable a vulnerable child to live safely at home, and to help their parents become more confident, connected to their community and able to safely support their child’s development and wellbeing.
Restoration Shorter Term Care Order - STCO Restoration services are casework services that help parents, family/kin, carers and other significant people create the changes needed to enable safe restoration of a child to the care of their parents.
Guardianship STCO Guardianship Order Guardianship services engage the child, their parents, family/kin, prospective guardians and other people significant to them in exploring guardianship as a permanency option and assess the suitability of a proposed guardian. The aim of guardianship is to transfer full parental responsibility (by court order) for a child, to a family/kin or a suitable person, who becomes a guardian. The guardian makes all decisions about the child in their care, until they reach 18 years of age.
Open Adoption STCO Adoption Order (Supreme Court) Open adoption services engage the child, their parents, family/kin, prospective adoptive parents and other people significant to them in exploring adoption as an option and assess the suitability of the proposed adoptive parent. This involves a specialist adoption caseworker and an adoption assessor to review the OOHC placement and meet strict legal requirements.

The aim of adoption is to permanently transfer the legal rights and responsibilities of being a parent (by Supreme Court order) to adoptive parents, while also supporting a child to remain connected to their birth family/kin and cultural heritage.

Out of home Care (OOHC) Long Term Care Order

OOHC services aim to support the achievement of restoration, guardianship or open adoption for most children in OOHC and reduce instability and uncertainty arising through multiple placements or temporary care arrangements.

For a small number of children, OOHC services meet their needs for stability and security through provision of:

  • high quality, trauma informed foster care or
  • intensive therapeutic care (ITC) is a residential setting that support their transition to less intensive care arrangements.

Overview: PSP Case Plan Goal to Permanency Outcome

Funding: PSP Packages & Cost Components (as at 01 July 2018)

Funding: Temporary Care Arrangement (TCA) Placements

List: Statutory Powers exercised by DCJ

Give effect to objects and principles of the Care Act Promote the development, adoption and evaluation of policies and procedures that accord with the objects and principles of the Care Act.
Provide services under the Care Act Provide services that accord with the objects and principles of the Care Act.
Steward the service system Promote a partnership approach between the government and non-government sector agencies responsible for and dealing with children and young persons who are in need of care and protection.
Conduct (ROSH) assessment Receiving, investigating and assessing risk of significant harm (ROSH) reports.
Protection of a child Take whatever action is necessary to safeguard or promote the safety, welfare and well-being of a child assessed as in need of care and protection.
Write Care Plans Facilitate the development of a care plan to meet the needs of a child and his or her family.
Write Parental Responsibility Contract (PRC) Facilitate the development of a PRC aimed at improving the parenting skills of the parents and encouraging them to accept greater responsibility.
Apply for certain orders (exclusively) Make application for warrants, parent capacity orders (PCOs), emergency care and protection orders (ECPOs), supervision orders, guardianship orders and care orders.

This does not include section 90 applications.

Consent to application of certain orders Consent to application for a guardianship order by another party.

List: Functions of PR exercised by DCJ

Category Functions of PR
Case Planning Change of child’s case plan goal.
Case Planning Exit from OOHC through restoration or transition to a guardianship arrangement.
Contact A contact dispute arises that cannot be resolved.
Contact Approve changes to family and sibling contact plans not specified in Children’s Court order (for 12 months after making final orders).
Court Proceedings Apply for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) to protect a child from risk or apply to vary or rescind an AVO.
Court Proceedings Apply for rescission or variation to care order (including contact orders).
Court Proceedings Provide consent for applications in the Children’s Court by funded service providers.
Court Proceedings Respond to applications for rescission or variations to court orders filed by other parties.
Court Proceedings Apply for adoptions orders in uncontested adoption matters, or contested adoption matters & instruct Crown Solicitor (in contested applications)*.
Court Proceedings Approve report on suitability of PR arrangements & submit to Children’s Court, including filing section 76 and 82 reports filing (noting service provider with case management is required to draft section 76 and 82 reports).
Court Proceedings Approve the commencement of an adoption action*.
Court Proceedings Consent to application for guardianship order by a service provider.
Court Proceedings Make referral for specialist reports required by Children’s Court.
Court Proceedings Provide consent for appearing in proceedings as delegate of Minister.
Court Proceedings Approve bail surety & bail fine payment*.
Financial Approve a trust account or will on behalf of a child*.
Financial Approve Complex Needs expenditure.
Financial Approve financial component of leaving care plans .
Identity Provide consent for citizenship.
Identity Provide consent for marriage.
Identity Provide consent for passport application.
Identity Approve name changes for a child.
Interstate Carer moves interstate (excepting border towns).
Interstate Residency of children outside the NSW jurisdiction.
Interstate Consent for travel outside of NSW and Australia.
Media Consent to publication of information identifying children in OOHC or consenting to children’s public performance.
Media Significant media attention for a child or their family’s situation.
Medical Consent to non-intimate children body piercing & tattooing.
Medical Consent to non-urgent surgical medical & dental treatment*.
Medical Grant exemption to a written request from Health Secretary for administration of addictive drug.
Medical Health Pathway referral (when it hasn’t been completed by CSC that brought the children into OOHC).
Medical Provide consent for end of life medical intervention.
Medical Provide consent for termination of pregnancy. Note: Seek legal advice in relation to children over the age of 13 years.
Medical Provide consent to medical treatment involving potential terminal illness. Note: Seek legal advice in relation to children over the age of 13 years.
Medical Make application to the court / NCAT for consent to medical treatment rendering a child infertile.
Medical Seek NCAT consent for a special medical procedure.
Other Duty of care in relation to parental responsibility.
Other Disagreement between DCJ and a service provider.
Other A breakdown in interagency negotiations, especially involving another government service provider.
Other Other circumstance arising from OOHC accreditation (or loss of accreditation).
Other Responding to a critical event such as a serious injury or death of a child.
Other Approve apprenticeship or enlistment in Australian Defence Force (ADF)*.
Other Request for DCJ intervention by a child.
Placement A child is moving from foster care to residential care.
Placement Match a child’s needs to a placement by applying Child Assessment Tool (CAT).
Placement Respond to repeated placement breakdowns and/or unauthorised placements. Request the funded service provider with case management to provide information about how it intends to resolve the related concerns.
Victims compensation Arrange file audit to identify and pursue any claims child may be entitled and ensure recognition payment claims have been addressed for children who have been victims of crime.

* These powers are also exercised by Barnardos through a deed of agreement with DCJ.

List: Legislation informing practice

NSW Legislation



The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998
(the Care Act)

Establishes the legislative framework providing child protection and out-of-home care services in NSW. Certain provisions of the Act are consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Regulation 2012 (the Regulations)

Forms part of the framework for child protection and OOHC services, including regarding the accreditation of as designated agencies by the NSW Children’s Guardian.

Childrens Court Act 1987

Establishes the Children’s Court and its roles and responsibilities.

The Adoption Act 2000

The legal framework for the adoption of children in NSW and (in conjunction with other legislation) those from overseas.

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998

Sets out requirements for the collection, storage, access, accuracy, use and disclosure of personal information.

Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002

Sets out requirements of collection, storage, access, accuracy, use and disclosure of health information.

Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993

Provides the Ombudsman with the power to investigate complaints about organisations (government and NGOs) that provide child protection services and other community services, conduct reviews of children in care, and conduct systemic reviews of the deaths of children at risk of harm or those in OOHC.

Ombudsman Act 1974

Sets out the role of the Ombudsman in monitoring and reviewing the provision of community services, investigating complaints, and oversighting allegations of reportable conduct and complaint handling.

Guardianship Act 1987

Sets out responsibilities, functions, orders and principles applied by the Guardianship Division of NCAT to appointing guardians for people with disabilities, including young people aged 16–17 years and authorise special medical treatment.

Crimes Act 1900

Sets out criminal offences and penalties for those offences.

Coroners Act 2009

Requires that certain deaths be reported to the Coroner including the death of a child or young person in OOHC or who has been subject to a ROSH report and provides for the Coroner to conduct inquests and inquiries into deaths.

Victims Rights and Support Act 2013

A child who has experienced abuse or was the victim of a crime may be eligible for compensation. Victims Services New South Wales runs the scheme, which also helps victims in other ways, such as with counselling, support and information.

Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012

Sets out the functions of the Children’s Guardian and provides for conducting the Working with Children Checks/.  The Children’s Guardian also administers the Child Sex Offender Counsellor Accreditation Scheme.

Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007

The main legislation dealing with domestic and family violence in New South Wales. It provides power for a court to make an apprehended domestic or personal violence order (ADVO or APVO);  includes objectives that relate to ensuring the safety of all persons, including children, who experience domestic violence; and enacts provisions that are consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Adoption Regulation 2015

Regulates adoption law and practice

Commonwealth legislation


Privacy Act 1998

Sets out the requirements for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. Applies to Commonwealth government agencies, corporations  and NGOs.

Family Law Act 1975

Provides for the resolution of private family disputes over property and children (parenting proceedings).

There is a significant overlap in the jurisdiction of Family Law Courts and DCJ. The Family Law Courts have power to request that DCJ intervene in parenting proceedings where there are child protection concerns.  Section 69ZK gives the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court power to make orders in respect of children who are in care only with the written consent of DCJ. The courts have broad powers to make orders in proceedings relating to children beyond those that can be made by the Children’s Court.

DCJ has an MOU with the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court that provides for cooperation between DCJ and the courts including information exchange, Magellan Reports and interventions.

List: Practice Frameworks



NSW Practice Framework

A framework that supports and guides the way in which DCJ work with, and makes decisions about children, their parents and families/kin.

NSW Quality Assurance Framework

A framework that provides caseworkers with access to reliable and comprehensive outcomes information relating to children in statutory OOHC.

Funded Contract Management (FCM) Framework

Describes the way in which DCJ and FSPs manage their contractual relationship. It ensures that governance, financial management and service delivery mechanisms are in place so that services are delivered effectively and efficiently.

Human Services Outcomes Framework

Provides a common set of population-level wellbeing outcomes and indicators for NSW government and non-government agencies.

NSW Therapeutic Care Framework

A framework that guides service provision and works towards improving outcomes for children in statutory OOHC.

List: Standards, Policies & Instruments



Care and Protection Practice Standards

Key expectations of DCJ practitioners and leaders in their work with children, their parents and families/kin.

NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care

Standards which support a dual accreditation process for agencies providing statutory OOHC and adoption services.

Caring for Kids

A carer guide with basic information about which decisions are made by the carer and which need to be made by the agency.

NSW Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care

Outlines the general rights and responsibilities of every child and young person in OOHC. These rights reflect the rights of all children.

The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 requires that these rights are supported by carers and caseworkers.

NDIS interface

Guidelines for managing the interface between Early Intervention, Child Protection and OOHC with the NDIS.

List: DCJ Assessment Tools



Mandatory Reported Guide (MRG)

The NSW Mandatory Reporter Guide (MRG) is a Structured Decision Making (®SDM) tool intended to complement mandatory reporters' professional judgment and critical thinking. Access the Mandatory Reported Guide (MRG)

Screening and Response Priority Tool (SCRPT)

Screening and Response Priority is a Structured Decision Making (®SDM) tool used by DCJ Child Protection Helpline to assess child protection concerns regarding risk of significant harm.

Safety and Risk Assessment (SARA) tools

The SARA tools are Structured Decision Making (®SDM) tools that helps casework practitioners in assessing safety and risk in relation to children, their parents and families/kin they visit. There are three components to the SARA tool that casework practitioners complete at specific periods in time for a family: a safety assessment, risk assessment and risk reassessment.

Restoration Assessment tool

Restoration Assessment tool is a Structured Decision Making (®SDM) tool that supports decision making regarding restoration of children in OOHC.

Child Assessment Tool (CAT)

The CAT is a tool used for all new out-of-home care (OOHC) placements, children re-entering care, placement changes and transition of carers and the children in their care from DCJ to agencies.

The Child Assessment Tool (CAT) is based on the Cleveland Child Assessment Tool customised for NSW in partnership the developers.

The tool improves transparency and consistency of placement decisions and focuses on the needs of the child. It has been designed to identify the most appropriate level of care for a child, based on assessment of their behaviour, and health and development needs.

Alternative Assessment

Alternative Assessment (also known as ‘secondary risk of harm assessment’, ‘SAS2’ and ‘SARA Exception’) is a guided practice risk assessment model that includes the collection and analysis of information and the exercise of professional judgement.

The outcome is a professional opinion about safety, risk and harm that inform a decision about a child or young person’s need for care and protection and subsequent case planning.

Application form for unplanned absences of Children and Young People placed with OOHC service providers




Case Management

Case management refers to the processes for managing and taking responsibility for the delivery of casework services including planning, implementation, monitoring and review. Case management is purposeful and directed toward achieving a case plan goal.

Case Plan Goal

The case plan goal is a specific goal for an individual child based on their assessed safety and permanency needs.

Casework Practitioner

Includes DCJ and funded service provider employees involved in the delivery of casework services including contact super-visors, caseworkers, team leaders, managers and specialists.

Care Responsibility

Day-to-day care and control of a child, including managing their placement, and promoting and safeguarding their well-being.

Care Continuum

A scale of care types starting from those that require the least involvement by DCJ and service providers and continuing through different types of care that involve increasingly more involvement by DCJ and service providers.

Functions of Parental Responsibility (PR)

Types of decisions that can be made by a person with the power of parental responsibility. For example ‘Approve the commencement of an adoption action’ (court proceedings), ‘Consent to non-urgent surgical medical treatment’ (medical) or ‘Match a child’s needs to a placement’ (placement).

Power of (PR) Parental Responsibility

Refers to power to exercise a function of parental responsibility.

Parental responsibility

The duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law parents have in relation to their children.

Service System

The collective system of early intervention; family preservation; restoration, guardianship, open adoption and OOHC services delivered by DCJ and service providers.

Funded Service Provider (FSP)

The provider of a Permanency Support Program (PSP) service commissioned by DCJ and funded under a contractual arrangement with DCJ.

Interstate Resources

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Last updated: 06 Mar 2020