FACS engaged Verso Consulting in April 2016 to review the existing residential care system and to develop a new evidenced based therapeutic residential care system. The project has a clear focus of supporting the planned tender of the NSW residential care system.
Residential care is the least preferred placement option for children and FACS is committed to see the escalating numbers of children in these placements reduced. FACS plans to reduce the number of young people entering residential care through improved assessment, increasing the number of less intensive placement options and reducing the overall number of young people in residential care by 50% over the next two years.
FACS is looking to purchase evidence based, therapeutic supports for children and families, rather than a service system we traditionally think of as foster and residential care. We want a system that does all it can to support families, that can place children and young people with extended family when they can’t return to their parents, and where Guardianship and open adoption are prioritised ahead of long term foster care and residential care.
FACS has attached the four Verso Therapeutic Residential Care System Development documents as follows:
Verso were asked to develop an evidence guide to assist services to demonstrate capacity to deliver the proposed models. The guide will inform self assessment regarding readiness and capacity of services to meet the revised model structure and requirements. It will also inform the development of a sector capacity building strategy.
FACS is currently considering the report with work underway to determine how best to operationalise the future model of therapeutic residential care. FACS is committed to working with the sector to implement the reform and acknowledges that timeframes and processes outlined in the attached documents are indicative only.