Safety and Permanency

The self report 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 harm or risk of harm
  • the presence of behaviours that expose a child or young person to potential mistreatment, injury or other types of harm.

Asking about safety

As children get older and can express themselves, their feelings of personal safety and security should be incorporated into the report’s safety measures.

Children and young people should have relationships with adults they can talk to about mistreatment, and behaviours, plans or environments that expose them to risk.

Asking about injury

Another area of concern for child safety is injury, whether unintended, accidental or non-accidental. Although all children and young people are at some risk of injury, asking about it can help us prevent certain environmental and behavioural risks.

We can learn more about risky environments and behaviours by asking about a child or young person about the presence of concerned and caring adults, and obtaining information about their risk-taking behaviour.

Reliable sources for our questions

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 self report.

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.