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Apply for a grant to undertake an analysis project

The Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study (POCLS) is a study in NSW that is building a unique data asset about the experiences and outcomes of children who experience out-of-home care. Ten grants for $30,000 each will be offered to Aboriginal led or partnered research projects using the dataset.

Grants Guidelines  PDF, 559.88 KB and the POCLS Objectives and Strategic Research Agenda PDF, 2452.18 KB provide information to support an Expression of Interest to undertake analysis to build new evidence to support DCJ’s priority policy questions.

A Grant Application Information Session for researchers interested in applying for a grant will be held via Teams on Tuesday 22th November 2022 11am-12noon. Please register by emailing Pathways@facs.nsw.gov.au.

Closing date for applications is the 20 January 2023.

Publicly available data

To access or download aggregated POCLS data, go to the following sections:

Customised requests for policy relevant research

Policy and program areas can also make a special request for aggregated POCLS data if it is not publically available in the Interactive Dashboards and POCLS publications section.

POCLS offers a service to assist policy and program agencies define their research questions and establish research partnerships using the Study data.

Customised requests may incur a programming fee and will be subject to approval by DCJ. Please email Pathways@facs.nsw.gov.au to make a data request.

Access to confidentialised unit record data

Unit record data from the POCLS will be available to researchers on formal application. The application and publication process for all research using POCLS unit record data  is outlined in the following POCLS technical reports:

Apply to undertake analysis funded by external grants or organisations

The POCLS data asset will be available to researchers who receive external grants or can self-fund projects approved by DCJ.

Key steps to access unit record data:

  1. Research application:
    Researcher/s apply to DCJ for approval to access and use POCLS data in a defined research project by completing a Research Proposal and Data Analysis Plan Application. The completed Application can be emailed to Pathways@facs.nsw.gov.au.  
    The POCLS survey questionnaires, data dictionaries, data books and data user guides can assist you with this (see POCLS publications page).
  2. Research application review:
    DCJ reviews the Research Proposal and Data Analysis Plan Application.
  3. Gain HREC approval for approved researchers:
    For DCJ commissioned projects, DCJ will gain the approval on the researcher’s behalf from the study’s Human Research Ethics Committees. For all other projects, researchers are required to gain ethics from their institution as part of the application to access the data.
  4. Sign DCJ Research Agreement:
    Approved researchers are required to sign a DCJ Research Agreement.
  5. Apply for SURE workspace:
    POCLS confidentialised unit record data are stored in the Secure Unified Research Environment (SURE) at the Sax Institute. The Sax Institute manages access applications and the granting of SURE licenses for POCLS data users.
    DCJ will complete a Workspace Application Form on the researcher’s behalf to access the data in SURE.
  6. SURE agreement for provision of the project folder:
    A standard agreement for SURE access is prepared by the Sax Institute and the researcher will countersign.
  7. Access to data and data user resources:
    Approved researchers will be provided with data in SURE, as well as information about data user resources, training, support and publication guidelines.
  8. Publications:
    All publications using POCLS data will be reviewed by DCJ, data custodians and ethics committees prior to publishing. All POCLS publications and journal articles will be available on the webpage at POCLS publications.

Data user training

Approved researchers are required to undertake data user training before they can access POCLS data in SURE.

To request data user training please email  Pathways@facs.nsw.gov.au

Secure Unified Research Environment (SURE)

The Secure Unified Research Environment (SURE), is a secure computing environment at the Sax Institute that approved POCLS researchers can log in to remotely to analyse POCLS data. Visit the SURE homepage for more information or contact the SURE team.

Technical support

There are several Technical Papers in POCLS publications to assist data users in their analysis of the POCLS data. Please refer to these in developing your research and data analysis plan.

List of DCJ funded POCLS projects

# Lead researcherInstitutionTopic publishing date
1 Australian Institute for Family Studies Australian Institute for Family Studies Baseline Statistical Report (Wave 1) 2015
2 Professor Judy Cashmore University of Sydney Children’s Family Relationships in Out-of-Home Care (Waves 1-2) 2017
3 Professor Paul Delfabbro University of Adelaide Relative/kinship and foster care: A comparison of carer and child characteristics (Wave 1) 2017
4 Dr Fred Wulczyn Chapin Hall Centre for Children University of Chicago Placement stability (Wave 1-2) 2017
5 Professor Ilan Katz Social Policy Research Centre, University of NSW Child and carer needs and services (Wave 1-2) 2019
6 Dr Fred Wulczyn Chapin Hall Centre for Children University of Chicago Exits from out-of-home care (Waves 1-3) 2019
7 Professor Judy Cashmore University of Sydney Children’s Family Relationships in Out-of-Home Care (Waves 1-3) 2021
8 Professor Paul Delfabbro University of Adelaide Relative/kinship and foster care: A comparison of carer and child characteristics (Waves 1-3) 2020
9 Professor Paul Delfabbro University of Adelaide Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care (Waves 1-3) 2018
10 Professor Ilan Katz Social Policy Research Centre, University of NSW Casework support (Wave 1-3) 2020
11 Dr Michelle Townsend University of Wollongong Educational outcomes of children and young people in out-of-home care (Waves 1-3) 2020
12 Settlement Services International, DCJ, Professor Paul Delfabbro & Professor Judy Cashmore Collaboration Culturally and linguistically diverse children and young people on out-of-home care (Waves 1-3) 2021
13 Professor Raghu Lingam School of Women’s and Children’s Health Faculty of Medicine, University of NSW Pathways of Change: optimising the mental health of children in OOHC 2023
14 Dr BJ Newton Social Policy Research Centre, University of NSW Understanding the influential factors and outcomes of restoration from Out-of-Home Care for Aboriginal children 2023
15 Dr Miriam Maclean Social Policy Research Centre, University of NSW Investigation of care experiences and support associated with positive educational outcomes: evidence for improving educational trajectories for children in care 2023
16 Associate Professor Rebecca Mitchell Australian Institute of Health Innovation Exploring the impact of child and placement characteristics, carer resources and perceptions, and life stressors on caregiving. 2022
17 Dr Aino Suomi Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University Patterns of family contact for children in care: how can we better support birth family relationships for children over time? 2023
18 Dr Anne-Marie Laslett La Trobe University Substance use by young people, their parents and carers: outcomes for young people in and beyond out-of-home-care. 2023
19 Dr Catherine Wade Parenting Research Centre Mapping the trajectories for children and young people in out-of-home care in NSW. 2023
20 Dr Melissa O’Donnell Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia Infants entering care: developmental needs and care trajectories. 2023
21 Dr Kath McFarlane Kath McFarlane Consulting Pty Ltd Offending youth, their families and pathways of care. 2023
22 Professor Massimiliano Tani School of Business, University of NSW Canberra Children with disability in the POCLS – wellbeing and outcomes. 2023
23Associate Professor Ben Edwards       ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences, The Australian National UniversityRisk and protective factors for young people in OOHC with challenging behaviours – juvenile delinquency2023

To access all POCLS research and statistical reports https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/resources/research/pathways-of-care/pocls-publication/pocls-research-and-statistics-reports

Details of DCJ priority policy areas PDF, 2503.02 KB.

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Last updated: 09 Nov 2022