Reviewing out-of-home care accreditation standards

In October 2020, the Office of the Children’s Guardian began a review of the NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care.

Two smiling children with their hands on their head

A series of consultation workshops were held with Aboriginal out-of-home care providers, as well as Aboriginal workers working in non-Aboriginal agencies.

These discussions focused on three key issues:

  • practices critical to promoting the safety, welfare and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people in the out-of-home care system
  • agencies’ experiences of the accreditation system
  • systemic challenges within the out-of-home care sector.

Consultation summary can be found here

We are now preparing draft accreditation criteria and will seek feedback from the sector. We plan to have the draft accreditation criteria available for comment in August 2021.

It’s anticipated that the 10 Child Safe Standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will become mandatory for some child-related sectors in mid-2021. In the second half of 2021, we will consult with statutory out-of-home care and adoption service providers about options for bringing the sector into the new Child Safe Scheme.

This will include opportunities to incorporate the Child Safe Standards into the accreditation criteria.

The review of the accreditation criteria is also an opportunity to address some of the sector-wide challenges in the out-of-home care system.

We will convene a sector advisory group to provide us advice on the review of the accreditation criteria as well as opportunities to improve our assessment and monitoring processes.

We will seek expressions of interest from designated agencies and adoption service providers in the second half of 2021.

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