Quality Assurance Framework (QAF)
The QAF will provide OOHC caseworkers with access to reliable information about the safety, permanency and the wellbeing of children with final orders in OOHC
Children and Young Person Questionnaire (CYPQ)
As part of the QAF design process, we asked young people ‘What young people thought about the QAF’.
They told us they want to feel connected to their friends and family, have people they can trust, have opportunities to reach their full potential and have a voice that is heard.
The Child and Young Person Questionnaire is a set of questions for children and young people in OOHC to tell us, every 6 months, how they are going in the areas of safety and permanency and cultural and spiritual identity.
Questions are automatically organised so they are age and culturally and situationally appropriate. The Questionnaire comprises of three sections:
- Safety and Permanency for 7-17 year
- Multicultural for 12-17 year olds who identity as Multicultural
- Aboriginal Cultural Connections for 9 to 17 year olds who identify as Aboriginal
More information can be found in the QAF User Guide – Chapter 4 – Child and Young Person Questionnaire.
Safety and Permanency Questions
The Child and Young Person Questionnaire incorporates questions from the 2018 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Survey of Children in OOHC, that measure:
- feelings of safety
- the presence of safe adults with whom a child or young person can communicate
- the presence of behaviours that expose a child or young person to potential
We’ve looked at the relevance of the NSW FACS Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study (POCLS) to QAF objectives, and selected some of its questions for inclusion in the QAF Child and Young Person Questionnaire.
The majority of these questions are either standardised measures or validated and reliable scales and questions that are used in other surveys such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AHIW), National Survey of Children in Out Of Home Care, Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), NSW School Students Health Behaviour Survey, and the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) Survey Beyond 18.
Adopting these questions gives us a valid and reliable means of measuring individual wellbeing over time, and provides benchmarks for the general population.
More information can be found in the QAF Chapter 4 – Child and Young Person Questionnaire
Culture is important to all of us for many reasons and underpins who we are in terms of values, beliefs, customs, traditions and language. Social identity is a critical developmental task during adolescence. As a child matures, cultural identity is crucial to psychological wellbeing. It’s linked to academic success, increased self-esteem, low levels of substance abuse and resilience to prejudice among other outcomes.
The QAF uses the Multi Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM) alongside questions about faith and language in the Child and Young Person Questionnaire for young people aged 12-17 years.
The MEIM has been used in multiple studies globally and is designed to assess ethnic identity and is reliable across a wide range of ethnic groups and ages. The MEIM comprises of two key factors:
- Exploration: Efforts to learn about one’s group and participation in cultural practices
- Commitment: A positive affirmation of one’s own group and a clear sense of belonging.
The CALD consultation report outlined the initial steps to developing the Multicultural Cultural and Spiritual Identity area of the QAF.
More information can be found from page 11 -17 in the QAF User Guide – Chapter 4 – Child and Young Person Questionnaire.
Aboriginal Cultural Connections Questions
Culture is important to all of us for many reasons and underpins who we are in terms of values, beliefs, customs, traditions and language. We are asking Aboriginal children and young people about their culture to help us understand what cultural support we as casework practitioners need to provide to them.
The Domain is an Australian first and has been a true partnership with Aboriginal people.
Key partners, and leaders, in the development of the Aboriginal Cultural and Spiritual Identity Domain are:
- Burrun Dalai Aboriginal Corporation leading the development of the Aboriginal Cultural Connections Questionnaire
- FACS Aboriginal Reference Group
- QAF Task Team – a project reference group comprising Burrun Dalai, AbSec, DCJ Western Cultural Connections Team, DCJ Aboriginal Reference Group, various Academics where needed, DCJ Aboriginal Outcomes.
View initial conversations held with Aboriginal young people and the sector and documented from the Aboriginal Cultural and Spiritual Identity Forum, November 2016 consultation report.
The Aboriginal Cultural Connections Questionnaire (ACCQ) gives Aboriginal young people aged from 9 to 17 the opportunity to reflect on their knowledge of kin, county and connections. The information provided by the ACCQ allows all caseworkers to support Aboriginal children and young people with their cultural needs no matter what their placement situation.
The questions are based around key things, knowledge and connections that a person who is culturally connected is surrounded by. Some of these questions generally happen in conversations with Aboriginal people in community to firstly establish their family connections and secondly their basic knowledge and understanding of where they come from. There are 16 questions that range from multiple choice to free text. There are no right or wrong answers as the information is used to build the child or young person’s cultural knowledge over time.
The questions are culturally appropriate and have been developed by Burrun Dalai Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal OOHC agency in NSW and have been tested and reviewed over a period of two years with various Aboriginal children, young people and caseworker practitioners. Extensive consultation with Aboriginal people, services and agencies have occurred and many hours of heart felt discussions around the meaning of culture and how this could be measured have been undertaken.
Please note: Learning about your culture is a life long journey; it is not expected by Aboriginal people or DCJ that non-Aboriginal casework practitioners will teach the child or young person about their culture. As a casework practitioner, you need to access Aboriginal community members who have the skills in providing cultural support or leadership to gain cultural knowledge
More information can be found from page 18 in the QAF User Guide – Chapter 4 – Child and Young Person Questionnaire.