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When a child is placed with their parents, they exit OOHC (but remain in the parental responsibility of the Minister). Also see restoration placement.
During the period of restoration support (when a child is placed with their parents), the Department and the PSP provider have complementary roles in achieving restoration:
The Department conducts SARA to ensure:
The Department exchanges SARA information with the PSP provider to support restoration.
The PSP provider:
The date at which restoration is legally achieved is the date at which parental responsibility returns to the parents. This occurs when an STCO expires. It may also occur when the court rescinds a long term care order that (previously) allocated parental responsibility to the Minister.
When restoration has been achieved, post permanency casework support may be provided to a child, their parents, siblings and family/kin to:
It is unlikely post permanency casework support will be needed for a child after a guardianship order is made. This is because the making of the order will have required the guardian to demonstrate an ability to meet the long term needs of the child without the need for case management or supervision.
However, guardianship post permanency casework support may be provided in rare, unforeseen circumstance when the Department and the PSP provider agree this support is required.
It is unlikely post permanency casework support will be needed for a child after an adoption order is made. This is because the making of the order will have required the proposed adoptive parents to demonstrate an ability to meet the long term needs of the child without the need for case management or supervision.
However adoption post permanency casework support may be provided when:
The Department and a PSP provider have complementary roles in planning and providing post permanency casework support.
A supervision order may be made for a child with a case plan goal of restoration, to commence after their STCO expires (section 76). It enables the Department to monitor and supervise the child’s care and protection.
A supervision order specifies the reason and purpose of the order – which will be different for different children. It also states the period of the order, of up to 12 months. This may be extended for a further period of up to 12 months (a total 24 months).
During a supervision order, the Department:
The Department and a PSP provider for post-permanency casework support, have complementary roles during a supervision order.
The PSP provider continues to exercise primary case responsibility for post-permanency casework support while the supervision order is ongoing unless the Department and the PSP provider agree otherwise. The PSP provider:
The provider does not participate in the exercise of statutory powers by the Department (section 76 or section 77).
PSP providers develop a leaving care plan for all young people who are in statutory OOHC for over 12 months, and are 15 years of age or over.
Whether or not a young person stays living with their carers, leaving care planning prepares them for life as an adult and provides support until they reach 25 years of age.
A leaving care plan includes support for developing independent living skills, building a personal support network and covers health and wellbeing, training and employment.
The leaving care plan is tailored to the young person’s needs and goals and includes accountability for how steps will be achieved and outlines support available.
Also see leaving care and aftercare resources for all caseworkers, including leaving and after care financial plans.
At a minimum, leaving care planning for a young person with disability, by a PSP provider, includes:
At a minimum, leaving care planning for a young person, by a PSP provider, includes:
Leaving care planning for a young person, by a PSP provider, includes:
Leaving care planning for a young person, by a PSP provider, includes identifying if the young person may be a victim of crime through conversations with the young person, their carers, and through a review of their file history.
Casework practitioners identify and respond to the needs of children and young people in statutory care who have been victims of crime.
Under the Victim Support Scheme a child or young person may be eligible for counselling, financial support and a recognition payment if they are found to be a victim of crime.
There are two pathways available to PSP providers to access victims support for children and young people in statutory OOHC:
For more information on eligibility and processes see:
Also see the Charter of Victim’s Rights.
Leaving care planning includes checking a young person’s residency or citizenship status.
Children and young people that are not Australian residents or citizens, in the care of the Minister, may be eligible for the Child (Subclass 802) Visa.
The Child (Subclass 802) Visa grants a permanent visa to children and young people in Australia, who the courts have determined are under the care of the relevant Australian state or territory Minister until they turn 18 years of age.
PSP providers check the residency and citizenship status of all young people to identify eligibility for the Child (Subclass 802) Visa. This is particularly important when a young person is preparing to leave care, as the applicant must be under 18 years of age when the visa application is lodged.
PSP providers prepare the visa application and gather the supporting documentation and submit to their nominated unit for approval. The PSP provider is responsible for submitting the approved application to the Department of Human Affairs.
See Vulnerable Child Visa factsheet and Vulnerable Child Visa step by step guide
Leaving care planning by a PSP provider, includes identifying if a young person has unpaid fines. Young people in care under the age of 18, are automatically eligible for the Work Development Orders program. Care leavers are also recognised.
Work Development Orders help vulnerable young people clear unpaid fines with approved activities instead of money. Activities may include a TAFE course, treatment program, life skills course, counselling, or other options.
PSP providers ask young people, their parents or carers and any significant others about whether they have any unpaid fines. If the young person cannot afford to pay their fine, they should be encouraged to pay off their fines through participating in the Work Development Orders program. See Work and Development Orders.
Leaving care planning includes identifying if a young person has a trust. Most trusts hold funds from Victims of Crime recognition payments, but may include other payments including inheritance, superannuation, or compensation from an accident.
Young people in care may have a trust held by the NSW Trustee and Guardian. The responsibility to arrange a trust for a child in care is held by the Department.
PSP providers check if the young person has a trust account. Details should be held on ChildStory in the file notes, noting the young person will receive this money at 18 years of age (unless long term guardianship is planned due to disability). If a PSP provider is unsure if a trust exists, check with the nominated unit (CFDU).
PSP providers prepare young people to receive funds from a trust. Providers help them to develop financial literacy skills and consider whether a financial counsellor may be of assistance, if there are additional risks, such as drug dependency.
PSP providers coordinate with the nominated unit (CFDU) to ensure young people receive their trust funds when they turn 18 years of age.
Leaving care planning by a PSP provider includes arranging a leaving care letter.
A leaving care letter is sent from the Minister to congratulate the young person on turning 18 years of age. It highlights the importance of their leaving care plan and outlines where to obtain additional and future support.
PSP providers complete the leaving care letter template and leaving care overview template, and provide to the nominated unit (CFDU), for DCJ approval, three months prior to the young person turning 18 years of age. The Department approves the leaving care letter and leaving care overview and submits both to the Minister’s Office at least four weeks prior to the young person turning 18 years of age. The signed letter is returned to the Department to send to the young person.
A recently passed birthday letter template is used in exceptional circumstances, where a letter was not given to the young person prior to turning 18 years of age. The young person must not be more than 18 years and three months of age when the Minister’s Office receives the letter.
When a young person leaves care at age 18 years, and until they turn 25 years of age, their PSP provider continues to play an important role in their life. The PSP provider discusses their role with the young person before they leave care and this is set out in the young person’s aftercare plan. The provider:
Also see leaving care and aftercare resources for all caseworkers.
Care leavers that have been in statutory OOHC are entitled to their personal information contained in their care history records.
Within care leavers records there is usually information which cannot be released because the disclosure of the information is restricted by legislation. This includes personal information of third parties where the information is not relating directly to the care leaver, and information which could lead to the identification of a person who has made a risk of harm report.
Care leavers are also entitled to their original documents, including but not limited to, their birth certificate, school reports, medical reports and personal photographs.
PSP providers seek their own legal advice on what specific information can be shared lawfully with a care leaver.
The PSP provider ensures young people are treated with dignity, respect and supported throughout the process. This may include:
After a young person exits care, they may be able to access financial assistance from the Department to address health, housing, education or other needs. This might be an item of expenditure listed on their approved aftercare plan (and financial plan), or it might be an unanticipated item of new expenditure.
The PSP provider:
The nominated unit after receiving an aftercare financial plan from a PSP provider, responds in writing within 28 days, or via ChildStory Partner if it has already been uploaded, indicating whether it is approved or if changes / more information is needed.
Also see leaving and aftercare financial plans.
The PSP provider makes sure the young person knows they can come to them at any time until they attain the age of 25 years to ask for help and assistance – including referral to counselling, housing support, early parenting programs, living skills courses, family planning and sexual health services, support to attend university or TAFE and specific aftercare and other services.
The young person can also ask for assistance from the Department, or when their needs are complex, the PSP provider may refer to, or work with, a specialist aftercare service.
04 Apr 2023
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future.
Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.
You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.