OOHC - Health Pathway - A guide for caseworkers
The Health Pathway is a joint initiative of Communities and Justice (DCJ) and NSW Health aimed to ensure that every child or young person entering statutory out of home care (OOHC) receives timely and appropriate health screening, assessment, intervention, monitoring and review of their health needs.
DCJ and NGO caseworkers play an essential role in improving the health and well-being of children and young people in OOHC by supporting the Health Pathway process.
These figure and table guides DCJ and NGO staff through the health pathway process.
|Entry into Care|
Complete Health Referral (within 14 days of entering care)
|DCJ|| As soon as a child or young person enters care, DCJ will commence the Health Pathway. DCJ completes the Health Referral form: |
|Step 1 Initiate the health assessment pathway||Health OOHC Coordinator||The Health OOHC Coordinator coordinates referral for health screening process and contacts carer and child’s caseworker.|
Primary health screening (commenced within 30 days of entering care)
|Agency with supervisory responsibility NGO/DCJ|| Within 30 days of child entering care, a primary health screening is commenced either by a GP, child and family health nurse or Aboriginal Medical Services. Screening may include growth and developmental check, immunisation review, vision, hearing, dental, nutrition and mental health screen. The child’s caseworker must: |
|Health OOHC Coordinator with Agency with supervisory responsibility NGO/DCJ|| If there is need for further assessment, a child will receive a comprehensive health assessment coordinated by Health OOHC Coordinator. This may involve a range of practitioners and appointments for assessment of physical health, development, psychosocial, and/or mental health. The child’s caseworker will: |
Development of a Health Management Plan with 90 days of entering care
|Health OOHC Coordinator with Agency with supervisory responsibility NGO/DCJ|| All children will receive a Health Management Plan which is a record of the child’s health needs identified in Step 2a and/or 2b and the services recommended addressing these. The child’s caseworker will: |
Targeted service intervention
|Agency with supervisory responsibility NGO/DCJ|| The child or young person will receive health services/programs as identified in the Health Management Plan. Where possible, publicly funded services are to be sought. The child’s caseworker will: |
Periodic health review and assessment
|Agency with supervisory responsibility NGO/DCJ with Health OOHC Coordinator|| Regular health reviews (using 2A template) by a health practitioner or GP are required and should occur as indicated in the plan. At a minimum, reviews must occur every six months for a child under five and annually for a child over five. Practitioners can use 2A template. The child’s caseworker must: |