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Providing children with safe and permanent outcomes to reach their potential is central to the work of DCJ, PSP providers and other OOHC providers.

The objectives of PSP are to:

  • maintain children at home, minimising entries and re-entries into care
  • find permanent homes for children currently in care, by increasing the number of children being restored to their family, moving into guardianship arrangements, or being adopted
  • address the over-representation of Aboriginal children in the care system through developing and maintaining connections with family and kin, community, language, culture and country
  • invest in higher quality support and provide more targeted and therapeutic support to address individual needs.

Program description

The PSP Program Description provides an in-depth overview of PSP.

Appendices to the program description include:

Family Preservation and Restoration

The delivery of PSP family preservation and restoration services are a key component of PSP. Read more on Family Preservation and Restoration Services.

Open Adoption

When a child cannot return to the care of their parents, and a Guardianship Order is not appropriate, open adoption is considered.

Adoption and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Although legislation does allow for the adoption of Aboriginal children, as the last option within the permanent placement principles hierarchy, Aboriginal peoples do not support open adoption for Aboriginal children for cultural reasons. Adoption is not considered suitable for Aboriginal children. Read more on Open Adoptions.


Guardianship orders aim to give children and young people greater stability after a Children’s Court decision that they cannot live with their parents. Read more on Guardianship Orders.

PSP Contracts

PSP providers must operate in accordance with PSP contractual requirements, legislation and DCJ policies and guidelines. DCJ contracts for the provision of PSP services include:

  • the PSP funding deed (governs overall terms and conditions of the contractual agreement)
  • the PSP Program Level Agreement (governs the delivery of services for PSP)
  • schedules one one through to six of the PLA (govern specific aspects of service delivery detailed below).

PLA Schedules one to six:

  1. Service Requirements
  2. Performance and Outcomes Data Reporting
  3. Payment Provisions
  4. Legislation and Policies
  5. Implementation Plan
  6. Additional Terms

Barnardos' Deed of Agreement (2022)

The Barnardos’ Deed of Agreement (Barnardos' deed) between DCJ and Barnardos, sets out how Barnardos Australia (Barnardos) will exercise specified aspects of parental responsibility on behalf of the Minister, for non-Aboriginal children who are placed in the sole parental responsibility of the Minister and subject to final orders of the NSW Children’s Court. Read more about the Barnardos' deed in the Fact Sheet: Operation of Deed between DCJ and Barnardos (Parental Responsibility Delegation).

Appendices to the program description include:

  1. Annexure A - Instrument of Delegation
  2. Annexure A - Instrument of Sub-delegation
  3. Annexure A - Schedule A Delegated Officers
  4. Annexure A - Schedule X Children and Young Persons Care and Protection Act 1998
  5. Annexure B - Model Litigant Policy for Civil Litigation
  6. Annexure C - M2016-03 Model Litigant Policy for Civil Litigation and Guiding Principles for Civil Claims for Child Abuse.

Service Prices from the service start date (1 July 2018 to 30 June 2022)

The subsequent four sections of this Appendix set out the component parts of the PSP's Service Price:

  • Funding Package
  • Placement Capacity Payment
  • Placement Establishment Payment
  • Emergency Establishment Payment.

These packages or service payments apply subsequent to the service start date for foster care, and at the commencement of the term for Intensive Therapeutic Care (ITC) and Intensive Therapeutic Transitional Care Service Providers (ITTC).

During the term of the service start date, service payments are paid up-front on a quarterly basis. These payments are for three months in advance.  DCJ is working towards reconciliation for the period of the service start date.

Abatements for performance failures

The new contracts for foster care and Aboriginal foster care are intended to shape the system to better respond to the individual needs of children, deliver more permanency outcomes and enable DCJ and providers to track performance against agreed key performance indicators.

DCJ is implementing both incentives for the achievement of outcomes and abatements for performance failures under the PSP contracts.

DCJ’s intention is to work with the sector during this period to finalise the operational business rules. Where there are instances of performance failures during the interim period, DCJ will raise the matter with providers and discuss the issue. Until the operational rules are finalised after consultation with the sector, DCJ will not apply abatements.

The contracting arrangements and business rules further set out the guidance in relation to payments and costing for PSP.

Legislation, policies and guidance relevant to management of PSP contracts

Schedule 4 of the PSP Program Level Agreement (PLA) details service providers’ obligations in respect of legislation, policies and practices.

Residential Care Program Level Agreements and the transition to Intensive Therapeutic Care

Intensive Therapeutic Care (ITC) includes services previously known as residential care.

ITC  is a core component of services delivered within PSP. This new model of care is currently undergoing a 2-stage tender process with a stronger focus on therapeutic service delivery for children.

Given that the ITC re-commissioning process has not yet been finalised, current residential care service providers who progressed from the EOI have been offered an extension of their current OOHC Contracted Care Program Level Agreement (PLA). This Residential Care PLA will operate from 1 October 2017 up to 30 June 2018.

View the standard Residential Care PLA.

View special conditions attached to the PLA.

Read more on the ITC re-commissioning process.


Leaving and aftercare services are important aspects in the provision of services for young people transitioning from OOHC to independence. PSP providers are responsible for providing assistance to young people leaving care jointly with DCJ.

Leaving and aftercare guidelines explain the eligibility criteria for aftercare assistance for young people leaving care.

PSP providers can assist young people transitioning from OOHC to independent living to apply for the Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA) and to complete the application.

Your Next Step and YOU provide young people leaving care with contact details for a range of services and support.

Caring For Kids (leaving care section) and Leading The Way help carers in their role supporting young people leaving care.

Read more on resources for caseworkers and carers to support leaving and aftercare.

Contact us

For more information, please contact

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Last updated: 06 Dec 2022