April 2022 updates for statutory out-of-home care agencies.
Our new website was launched on 16 February 2022. It aims to improve user experience with an audience-based structure.
We hope it is easier to find the information and resources that you need to support you to keep children safe in organisations.
If you have bookmarked pages on our old website, we have redirects in place to the new site. However, if your organisation’s website references and links to our website, please review that content and update your links now.
Some information that was on our old website is being updated and rebranded and will be available again soon. You may wish to bookmark the statutory out-of-home care and adoption pages for quick access. Please take a look at our new site, and if you have any feedback, get in touch with our Communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Early intervention good practice
SNAICC has published some great resources about early intervention good practice with Aboriginal children and families across the country. Intensive community engagements informed the development of these resources, highlighting the value of Aboriginal community led initiatives that are developed organically in response to local needs.
View the resources on SNAICC’s website.
Accreditation and monitoring review and the Child Safe Scheme
In late 2021 we commenced a review of the way we accredit and monitor agencies that provide statutory out-of-home care and adoption services. We want to make sure our accreditation framework reflects the reality of the way out-of-home care and adoption services operate in NSW. We completed a period of public consultation in December 2021.
Key proposals for changing the current system include:
- taking a new approach to monitoring and accrediting agencies
- strengthening the assessment process for new applicants
- providing for greater flexibility in the way we administer the accreditation system
- options for accrediting short-term emergency care share providers
- making our functions clear You can read the discussion paper on Open Gov
You can read the discussion paper on Open Gov.
After the review, our powers, functions and responsibilities when it comes to out-of-home care and adoption, will be enshrined in new regulations made under the Children’s Guardian Act 2019. We will be consulting further with the sector about the new monitoring to renewal framework later in 2022.
The Child Safe Scheme commenced in February 2022. Designated agencies and adoption service providers are not currently included in the Child Safe Scheme, but our recent consultation indicated that agencies support a proposal to include the sector in the scheme down the track.
You can read about the Child Safe Scheme on our website.
In response to enquiries from some designated agencies and adoption service providers about the scheme, we have published some FAQs here on our website.
If you have questions or comments about designated agencies and adoption service providers and the Child Safe Scheme, please send these to email@example.com.
Commencement of the Residential Care Workers Register
Advice was provided to all designated agency Principal Officers on Friday 1 April 2022 that the Residential Care Workers Register will commence on Monday 18 July 2022. This has been a lengthy process and we appreciate your patience throughout.
We are aware that in order for agencies to be prepared for the go live date of 18 July 2022, there will be a number of processes that all agencies will be required to complete. This will include attendance at training, development of policies and procedures and making a determination about how management of the Register will best fit within your agency’s statutory out-of-home care structure. For some agencies, this will coincide with accreditation and monitoring assessments. We will be contacting agencies undergoing current regulatory processes to see if they require additional information or support.
A suite of guidance materials has been sent to all Principal Officers and each agency’s nominated Primary Administrator for the Register. These materials have been developed to assist you to understand the intent of the Register and who is to be included.
To provide additional support and to address any issues as they arise, the Registration Systems Team will start to compile a list of FAQs to publish on our website. Following go live on 18 July 2022, we will also set up an open forum each morning during the first week of operation, for agencies to make contact and seek technical support. There will be flexibility to extend these sessions if this is helpful for the sector.
Our office is committed to supporting all agencies in preparation for the commencement of the Register. The Registration Systems team will be available to respond to any queries you may have, so please do not hesitate to reach out, by phone on (02) 8219 3888 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Secure file transfer - Kiteworks user guide for agencies
Accellion Kiteworks is a secure file transfer tool that enables your agency to send and receive sensitive information. The Registrations System Team uses the Kiteworks platform to share sensitive information, including information captured on the Carers Register via Business Intelligence Reports. Often this information relates to personal details, WWCC status and records of Reportable Allegations. Please ensure that key staff members have a Kiteworks account to receive and send files
Please refer to the Accellion Kiteworks guide below and if you have questions, reach out to the team at email@example.com
Designated agencies and adoption service providers must notify the Office of the Children’s Guardian when:
- there are changes to the agency’s Principal Officer or agency contact details
- a designated agency places a child or young person in a non-home based emergency care arrangements, other than statutory foster care or residential care
- a designated agency develops a plan to transition a child or young person from the non-home based emergency care arrangement to a permanent care arrangement
- the placement of a child or young person in a non-home based emergency care placement has ceased
- there is a death of a child or young person in statutory out-of-home care placed with the agency
- a designated agency places a child under 12 years of age in residential statutory out-of-home care, and when this placement ceases.
If your agency does not yet have access to the accreditation portal, you should use the notification forms on our website. If your agency has access to the accreditation portal, you should also use the portal to make all the above notifications, with the exception of non-home based emergency care arrangements. Please use notification forms on our website for non-home based emergency care arrangements.
Reportable Conduct notification form is now web-based
The NSW Reportable Conduct Scheme monitors how organisations investigate and report on allegations of certain conduct towards children. The Scheme is governed by the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 and is administered by our office. Information about the Reportable Conduct Scheme is available on our website.
In February 2022, a new web-based Reportable Conduct 7-day notification form was launched. Agencies must now use the web-based form, which is available on the Reportable Conduct notification forms webpage.
Please look out for advice about the launch of the new web-based Entity Report form in April 2022. For the time being, the 30-day and Entity Report forms will stay the same. Our Reportable Conduct colleagues are working to make all forms web-based in the coming months.
Now, when entities make reports under the Reportable Conduct Scheme, our Reportable Conduct colleagues will receive submitted information in close to real time and will be able to respond to notifications with improved timeliness.
Keep up to date with Reportable Conduct e-Learning training and resources available on our website.