Information for agencies about young people continuing to live in care once they turn 18.
Working with Children Check requirements
All household members of authorised foster carers must have current Working With Children Check that has been verified by the agency. When a young person in foster care turns 18, they’ll need a Check too. A young person can apply for this when they turn 17 and 9 months, and agencies should make sure they do this as soon as possible, as part of their leaving care planning.
Working with Children Check information for authorised carers and household members
If a WWCC clearance isn’t granted
A young adult can appeal the decision not to grant a Working with Children Check in the NSW Civil and Administrative Appeal Tribunal.
In the rare case where we don’t grant a WWCC clearance, the young adult can apply for Continuing Residency Approval (CRA) to remain at the home. If other people under 18 are in placement at the home and we don’t grant either CRA or a WWCC, the young person can’t reside there any longer.
There’s no mechanism for appealing a decision about a CRA.
How we decide whether to grant Continuing Residency Approval
Before granting a CRA, the Children's Guardian must be satisfied any risks to the safety of children residing at the property are sufficiently mitigated. To prove this, we’ll require documented evidence, such as:
- an agency-approved risk management plan
- periodic review of the risk management plan after 12 months
- consent from the applicant and authorised carer to abide by the approved risk management plan
- agency and carer undertakings to immediately inform us in writing of any breach of the approved risk management plan or if further serious risks are identified
- agency and carer undertakings to immediately inform us in writing of a change of circumstances that means it is no longer appropriate to continue the approval.
What to include in a risk management plan for CRA
As part of your CRA application, your risk management plan should include:
- information about the circumstances of concern
- the time that has elapsed since any incident or incidents
- evidence of any immediate action taken
- evidence of any long-term remedial action such as counselling and therapy, as well as its impact on the young adult's behaviour
- risk mitigation and contingency measures the carer has taken in case the behaviour reoccurs. Evidence of this could include the agency’s relevant policies about responding to reportable conduct, case management monitoring and probity assessment procedures.
Granting and cancelling approval
We always notify the agency and the young adult in writing of the Children's Guardian's decision to approve or refuse a CRA.
The Children's Guardian can grant approval for up to 5 years. However, she can cancel this approval at any time if circumstances change and is no longer satisfied that risks to other children residing at the property have been mitigated.
What constitutes a change of circumstances depends on context but it would include key events such as new children coming into the placement or the young adult permanently leaving the placement so that they no longer need the approval.
If an incident occurs that raises concerns about the safety of children in the placement, the agency must inform the Children's Guardian immediately by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the approval may be cancelled.
Where risks to the safety of children are immediate and serious, we’ll serve a notice on the young adult to advise them that approval has been cancelled. We’ll also advise the carer and agency as quickly as possible. If there are children in the placement, the young person must leave the home within 48 hours of being notified.
What happens when the approval expires?
Young adults can apply to have their CRA renewed and we’ll assess their application the same way we assess new applications. They should apply for renewal at least 3 months before their current approval expires.
Your agency must also work with both the young adult and the carer to determine whether the approved risk management plan submitted when the young person applied for CRA continues to mitigate identified risks or whether it needs to be updated.
The agency must inform us of any changes or amendments to the risk management plan and must also notify us immediately by email to email@example.com if the young adult:
- breaches the risk management plan, or
- poses a risk to the safety of children in the home.