About the Study
The Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study (POCLS) is the first large-scale prospective longitudinal study of children and young people in out-of-home care (OOHC) in Australia. Information on safety, permanency and wellbeing will be collected from various sources. The child developmental domains of interest are physical health, socio-emotional wellbeing and cognitive/learning ability.
POCLS is the first study to link data on children’s child protection backgrounds, OOHC placements, health, education and offending held by multiple government agencies; and match it to first hand accounts from children, caregivers, caseworkers and teachers. The POCLS database will allow researchers to track children’s experiences and outcomes from birth.
The study will provide a strong evidence base to inform policy, practice and professional development to improve decision making and support provided to children and young people who cannot live safely at home. Permanency pathways include restoration to birth family, guardianship or parental responsibility to suitable person(s), open adoption and long-term parental responsibility to the Minister. The POCLS will track the trajectories of children in the study, including after they turn 18 years of age.
- Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study brochure
- Project phases
- Overview of the Study design
- Study project plan