New publication helps organisations provide specialised overnight care for children

The Office of the Children’s Guardian has published a new handbook for organisations providing or supervising specialised substitute residential care for children and young people in NSW.

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This kind of care, including respite and behaviour support camps, is often provided for children and young people with disability. Providers of this type of care must be registered with the Office of the Children’s Guardian.

The handbook covers the obligations providers must comply with under the Child Safe Scheme, and clarifies intersections with relevant Commonwealth and state legislation.

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 (NDIS).

When a child stays in overnight care for one or more nights, the organisation or sole trader providing the care must record it on the specialised substitute residential care register.

This is because the register is a collaborative tool which calculates the total days the child has been in specialised substitute residential care with any provider, so that children don’t remain in care for long periods without oversight.

Specialised Substitute Residential Care Implementation Handbook (PDF)

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