The overall aim of this study is to collect detailed information about the life course development of children who enter OOHC for the first time and the factors that influence their development. The new knowledge will inform the OOHC service system and casework practice to improve outcomes for children and young people who experience OOHC. For more information see the Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study Objective and Strategic Research Agenda report PDF, 2503.02 KB.
- to describe the characteristics, child protection history, development and wellbeing of children and young people at the time they enter OOHC for the first time
- to describe the services, interventions and pathways for children and young people in OOHC, post restoration, post adoption and on leaving care at 18 years
- to describe children’s and young people’s experiences while growing up in OOHC, post restoration, post adoption and on leaving care at 18 years
- to understand the factors that influence the outcomes for children and young people who grow up in OOHC, are restored home, are adopted or leave care at 18 years
- to inform policy and practice to strengthen the OOHC service system in NSW to improve the outcomes for children and young people in OOHC.
POCLS key research questions
- What are the backgrounds and characteristics of the children entering OOHC, including their demographics, child protection history, reasons for entering care and duration of the legal order?
- What is the physical health, socio-emotional wellbeing and cognitive/learning ability of the children entering OOHC compared with other children in the community?
- How are the Aboriginal Child Placement Principles used in placement decision making for Aboriginal children entering OOHC?
- What are the placement, service intervention and case planning pathways for the children during their time in OOHC?
- What are the developmental pathways of the children during their time in OOHC, post restoration, post adoption and on leaving care at 18 years?
- How safe are the children during their time in OOHC, post restoration, post adoption and on leaving care?
- How prepared are children for restoration, adoption or the transition out of care at 18 years?
- What are the placement characteristics and placement stability of the children, and how do these influence their outcomes?
- In what ways are service interventions related to the outcomes for the children, and how is this affected by their developmental status when they entered care?
- In what ways do the characteristics of the child, carer, home/family and community affect the children’s and young people’s developmental pathways, and how do these differ from similarly situated children in the general population?
- How does contact between the children in OOHC and their birth parents, siblings and/or extended family influence their outcomes?
- How well do the administrative data capture relevant information about the process and quality of care for assessments, case planning, permanency planning and child outcomes; and how can they be improved?
The key research questions will address the OOHC population in general as well as the key sub-populations in OOHC including:
- Aboriginal children and young people
- Children and young people from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Children and young people with high needs and/or disabilities