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Child protection caseworkers help a record number of families

Last published on 07 Jan 2020 in Media Releases

New data released by the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) shows child protection caseworkers are assisting a record number of children and families across the state.

The September 2019 Caseworker Dashboard reveals 30,949 children at Risk of Significant Harm (ROSH) were seen by caseworkers in 2018-2019.

This represents an increase of 18 per cent – or 4,753 more children – compared to 2017-18.

DCJ Secretary Michael Coutts-Trotter said the department is working hard to keep families and children safe.

"Frontline staff are doing a great job and are committed to improving the way we support children and families in need," he said.

"Early intervention strategies are helping thousands of families stay safely together so children do not have to enter care."

Despite a slight increase in the number of children who entered care in 2018-19, there is a 42% reduction in the number of all children entering care since 2015-16. There has also been a 35 per cent reduction in Aboriginal children and young people entering care since 2015-16.

The number of families accepting services from the Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN) and Functional Family Therapy through Child Welfare (FFT) programs reached 2,083 in September 2019. This represents an additional 298 families compared to the last reported figure of 1,785 in June 2019.

The caseworker vacancy rate for the September 2019 quarter remains at zero per cent, consistent with the result from previous quarters.

We also have a record high number of funded caseworkers, and more importantly more caseworkers in those positions providing services to children and their families.

Where the caseworker statistics come from:

The Caseworker Dashboard was introduced in 2013 as a transparent tool to track where frontline staff and services are needed most in NSW.

Caseworker data is sourced from the annual and monthly reports that is produced by the DCJ Corporate Services division and verified by an independent auditor.

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