New laws for specialised substitute residential care
From 1 September 2022, the voluntary out-of-home care regulatory system is being replaced.
What was formerly voluntary out-of-home care will be called specialised substitute residential care, regulated under the Child Safe Scheme. A new code of practice sets out mandatory requirements, and there are some minor changes to which services are covered.
In NSW, specialised substitute residential care is an arrangement between a parent and an organisation for a child to receive care away from their usual home for 3 or more nights in any 7-day period.
The care must be for respite or behaviour support or funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The Office of the Children’s Guardian will regulate the organisations that provide this kind of care in NSW.
The new laws also streamline regulatory requirements for these organisations.
In place of registration, providers must complete a self-assessment about their compliance with the Child Safe Standards. They must also comply with the Code of Practice.
Existing requirements around the amount of time a child can spend in this type of care, and recording placement information on the register, will continue. This will prevent children from remaining in specialised substitute residential care without proper supervision and case planning.