The TCF provides guidance on supporting children and young people. At the centre of the framework is trauma-informed care. The framework will guide NSW service providers, caseworkers, carers and other stakeholders to provide the best possible individualised Therapeutic Care for children and young people.
The TCF is consistent with major changes to the child protection system under the Permanency Support Program, which focuses on recovery from trauma so that children and young people spend less time in intensive OOHC services and achieve permanent homes where they can thrive.
Children and young people in OOHC have often experienced trauma, abuse, neglect and/or are faced with severe adversity before being placed in care. They may have also suffered after separation from their families or others close to them. This may lead to poor outcomes later in life: developmental, behavioural or mental health issues.
Children and young people’s care needs are different, and every OOHC journey varies throughout their time in care. A child or young person’s needs should therefore be continually assessed, to allow the flexibility to increase or decrease the level of support and services required as their care needs change. This can make a big difference to the lifelong impacts of trauma, and greatly influence a person’s lifelong outcomes once they exit care.
The TCF outlines a set of 16 Core principles for providing Therapeutic Care (i.e. casework and care) to children and young people, to ensure their individual and often complex needs are met, given the trauma they have experienced.
The TCF focuses on:
The framework was developed in partnership between FACS and the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA), and AbSec, OOHC sector representatives and academics in the field of child protection. The draft framework documents also went to public consultation in November/December 2016. See the ‘Sector and public consultation’ section for further information.