Roles and responsibilities
Understand the roles and responsibilities of organisations involved in child wellbeing and child protection
The work of the NSW Ombudsman that relates to child protection is governed by the Ombudsman Act 1974 and the Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993 (CS CRAMA).
Under Part 3A of the Ombudsman Act the role of the Ombudsman is to oversight and review agency investigations into allegations of reportable conduct against employees of certain agencies.
The role of the NSW Ombudsman under CS CRAMA is to handle complaints in relation to, and to monitor and review, the provision of community services.
- scrutinise the systems put in place by designated agencies and other public authorities for preventing reportable conduct by employees, and for handling and responding to allegations of reportable conduct or convictions by those agencies and authorities
- receive and assess notifications concerning reportable allegations or convictions against an employee
- monitor investigations of reportable allegations and convictions against employees
- conduct investigations concerning reportable allegations or convictions, or concerning any inappropriate handling of, or response to, a reportable notification or conviction
- conduct audits and education and training activities to improve understanding of, and responses to, reportable allegations
- handle complaints about the provision of, or failure to provide, a community service, or about the withdrawal, variation or administration of a community service
- monitor and reviewing the delivery of community services, and inquiring into matters affecting service providers and consumers
- review of the situation of a child in care, or a group of children in care
- review the deaths of certain children and people with a disability. This includes children in statutory care; children living in disability accommodation services; and children whose death were, or might have been, due to abuse or neglect or that occurred in suspicious circumstances
- review complaint-handling systems of service providers
- coordinate and oversight official community visitors, visiting out-of-home care services
- provide information, education and training in relation to standards for community services and complaint handling in community services, and promote access to advocacy support to enable consumer participation in decision about the services they receive.
NSW Ombudsman and FACS report card
Since 2015 FACS and the NSW Ombudsman have used an Integrated Governance Framework (IGF) to track FACS progress towards implementing systemic reforms and addressing discrete practice issues identified through the Ombudsman’s work. Over 25 discrete issues have since been addressed, with work continuing on a further 13 issues. To promote awareness of this work, FACS and the Ombudsman have agreed to issue an annual report card outlining:
- key achievements
- activities still underway
- a snapshot of the broader FACS reforms aimed at addressing the efficiency and responsiveness of the child protection system.
More information can be found at NSW Ombudsman.