News from the Accreditation and Monitoring team, September 2021
Reportable Conduct Scheme webinars and eLearning
In August 2021 information was sent to all designated agencies about the Reportable Conduct Scheme webinars for statutory out-of-home care and voluntary out-of-home care providers. The webinars include sector-specific data and case study insights, best practice guidance and a question time.
The first webinar on 15 September 2021 is specifically for statutory out-of-home care providers. While registrations are reaching capacity, any last-minute registrations can be booked through NSW Reportable Conduct Scheme in statutory out-of-home care Registration, Wed 15/09/2021 at 9:30 am | Eventbrite It is important to register prior to the webinar reaching capacity, as the webinar will not be recorded.
If your agency is also registered to provide voluntary out-of-home care services, there is a separate webinar for this sector on 12 October 2021. The Eventbrite Link for registration to attend the voluntary out-of-home care session is NSW Reportable Conduct Scheme in the VOLUNTARY OUT-OF-HOME CARE sector Registration, Tue 12/10/2021 at 9:30 am | Eventbrite
The Reportable Conduct Scheme also has an 8-module eLearning course available for free. Module 7 is due to be released soon.
If you have any questions about the Reportable Conduct Scheme, please contact email@example.com
WWCC proof of ID for interstate members of governing bodies
From 30 July 2021, members of governing bodies of designated agencies, registered agencies and accredited adoption service providers who reside interstate will not need to personally attend Service NSW or a motor registry to have their identity verified for a Working With Children Check. Instead, the Children’s Guardian can approve the form in which identity documents can be provided.
This has been an issue particularly for national organisations where directors are not able to travel to NSW due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If your agency has members of its governing body who reside interstate and are due to apply for a Working With Children Check, they can complete the application steps outlined here.
The steps include completing a Working with Children Check online application and then completing a Proof of Identity form.
The head of your agency should forward the Proof of Identity form to the Office of the Children's Guardian at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions about proof of identity for interstate members of your governing body, please contact our Working with Children Check Customer Service team email@example.com
Changes to submission of indirect evidence
Since July 2020, designated agencies and accredited adoption service providers are no longer required to submit indirect evidence for review during the accreditation renewal process. There are some circumstances where there is an exception to this arrangement.
If your agency’s circumstances do require a submission of indirect evidence for assessment, a member of the Accreditation and Monitoring team will discuss with you how to lodge your submission electronically using Kiteworks. Due to restrictions associated with the pandemic, we can't accept submissions in paper form.
Kiteworks is a secure file transfer tool that enables an organisation to send and receive sensitive information. See the Kiteworks user guide (PDF) to support your agency sending and receiving, accessing and downloading files. If you have any questions about using Kiteworks, please contact the Accreditation and Monitoring team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Portal for accredited agencies
You will recall that the Accreditation and Monitoring team has a new agency online portal and we are gradually rolling out access for all designated agencies and adoption service providers.
Reminder: When your agency has access to the online portal, please remember to update your agency details via the portal, including changes in the details of your agency’s Principal Officer, Head of Entity and Signatory.
For agencies that do not yet have portal access, please advise us of these changes by email to email@example.com. When all agencies have accessed the portal, we will no longer need the Word-based notification forms for these functions.
We will be in touch with each agency to seek the name and details of the person nominated as its Primary Administrator, who will manage the agency’s portal users.
Residential Care Workers Register
Advice has been forwarded to all Principal Officers on the commencement of the Residential Register planned for early 2022, subject to Ministerial approval. Further details will be provided as soon as possible, including key operational materials and expanded details of the planning in the lead up to an anticipated commencement. This includes a plan to ready the statutory OOHC sector for the introduction of the register.
Throughout this process, our office continues to be aware of the pressures on agencies during the current COVID-19 lockdown and in moving forward, will continue to monitor potential impact on agencies in relation to scheduled training etc.
As previously advised, the draft Children’s Guardian Regulation is in the process of being reviewed and finalised. Once the Regulation has neared the completion stage, we will commence distributing guidance materials so that agencies can consider how they will build the requirements of the register into their existing systems and processes. These materials will assist agencies to further understand how the register will support information exchange between agencies and ultimately act as an additional child protection tool for children placed in a residential setting.
As we progress towards commencement, each agency’s nominated Register Primary Administrator will be our key contact. All agencies should become familiar with who their Primary Administrator will be.
Questions about the register can be directed to the Registration Systems Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care (2015)
As you will recall, in 2020 we embarked on the initial phase of the review of the Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care (2015) starting with consultations with the Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and with Aboriginal workers from non-Aboriginal designated agencies.
Summary of the consultations (PDF)
In the consultations, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations generally fed back that the current Standards are comprehensive and that the main changes that would improve care would be a more targeted oversight of care for First Nations children and young people.
We had intended to commence the second phase of the review in 2021, but ongoing challenges for the sector brought about by the pandemic have caused us to re-think whether the time is right to be asking the sector to consider this kind of change. Whilst in the past we have reviewed the Standards every five years to remain relevant to the changing sector, a review of the Standards will not go ahead this year.
Instead, we have decided to focus the consultation on the internal work we have been undertaking. This includes the review of our process, with a focus on more regular monitoring to inform accreditation renewals. The consultation will also look at the new applicant process and the relevance of some legacy clauses in the legislation as we transition from the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Regulation 2012 towards the Children’s Guardian Regulation 2021. We will be in touch with the sector again soon about gathering your views and feedback on accreditation and monitoring processes.