OOHC Education Pathway - A guide for caseworkers
Last published 01 Aug 2018
Caseworkers play an essential role in improving educational outcomes for children and young people in statutory out-of-home care (OOHC). It is important that all children and young people in OOHC participate in educational opportunities and have learning and support planning in place. The OOHC Education Pathway is triggered by notifying the school, including a pre-school (Government, Catholic or independent), that a child or young person has entered OOHC.
Notice to a School
- Complete a Notice to a School for any child or young person in OOHC who is already attending school or preschool when they enter care.
- If the school is a Government school email individual forms to your District’s dedicated email address or directly to the Department of Education. If the school is a Catholic or independent school, refer to point 4. The process differs across Districts. The table below indicates where to forward the form by District:
|Hunter New Englandemail@example.com|
|Mid North Coast||MidNorthCoastChildProfiles@facs.nsw.gov.au|
|Nepean Blue Mountainsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Northern Sydneyemail@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org|
|South Eastern Sydneyemail@example.com|
|South Western Sydney||IPC-MetroSouthWest@facs.nsw.gov.au|
Alternatively, if you are not sure which address to use, send individual Notice to a School forms to firstname.lastname@example.org
Only one Notice to a School is required for a child or young person. A Change of Circumstance form should be issued for each time the child changes, schools, caseworkers, carers, case management transfer, restoration etc. Change of Circumstances forms should also be emailed to the relevant mailbox above.
- Do not email the teacher directly. The Department of Education will forward the Notice to the School Principal with other relevant information.
This is to ensure the Education OOHC support program can be triggered and only appropriate personnel are informed. There are strict privacy and confidentiality protocols around receipts of information about children and young people in statutory OOHC.
- If the school is a non-Government school, email your FACS mailbox - for Districts CC, MNC, FWM, NNSW, NSyd, SWS, WNSW only. Otherwise email the school directly. The school will advise you of the appropriate contact for this information. A copy may also be cc’ed to email@example.com.
- As per usual practice, if there are educational concerns for a student in OOHC enrolled in a school, case workers and carers should speak to the school directly. If necessary, the school can access additional resources to support the student.
Personalised Learning and Support Planning
- All pre-school and school aged children and young people in OOHC will have Personalised Learning and Support Planning (formerly referred to as education planning by the Department of Education (Catholic and independent schools may still refer to the process as education planning) undertaken within 30 school days of notice of the students’ entry into OOHC.
- The Personalised Learning and Support page on the NSW Education website identifies how this will support students.
- The school will arrange a time to initiate the personalised learning and support meeting. Invitees will include caseworker, the child or young person (if appropriate), the carers and any other relevant school education staff.
- If the meeting has not be organised within 30 days, contact the school directly and request that the meeting take place as soon as possible.
The school will:
- encourage children and young people where possible, to participate in and decisions relating to their education
- implement the school-based actions in the plan
- promote communication between carers, school, agency and the student
- provide age-appropriate information to the child or young person about educational issuing impacting them.
The caseworker will:
- support regular school attendance and work with children and young people and their carers to raise expectations for their future success
- organise any external services recommended in the learning and support planning which have been approved by the agency
- support participation in appropriate educational and social activities outside of school
- provide educational information including school reports to new carers
- include the actions and recommendation from the learning and support planning in the child or young person’s case plan.
Monitoring and review
The school will actively monitor and review the learning and support planning. The school may also liaise with the caseworker to make sure that the child’s educational needs are met.
Personalised Learning and Support Planning should be formally reviewed at least once a year so that the information remains relevant to the child’s learning. There should also be a review after any significant change in the child or young person’s life. The caseworker should participate in review meetings to ensure positive outcomes and support the school and carers where appropriate.
KiDS process (FACS caseworkers only)
The Notice to a School, Change of circumstances forms and Personalised Learning and Support Planning documentation should be attached to the Education record in KiDS.
Questions about the Education Pathway should be directed to the Manager Casework in the first instance. For further detail email: OOHC.Initiatives@facs.nsw.gov.au