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Transfer of primary case responsibility involves transfer of responsibility for children:
The transferring provider and receiving provider have a shared responsibility to ensure transfer of case responsibility is:
Also see – Fact sheet: Ten principles for good administration.
Transfer of primary case responsibility always occurs on a specific transfer date:
The transfer does not occur across a range of dates or over a period of time. The transfer date may not be changed by the Department or a PSP provider to any other date.
The transfer date isn’t affected by, and still occurs, even when:
The transfer date is not delayed for any reason concerning the legal status of a child:
Transfer of primary case responsibility always occurs for immediate placements with the commencement of the placement with the PSP provider (excluding ITTC).
Primary case responsibility cannot be retained by the Department, or any other PSP provider, following an immediate placement. PSP providers are fully funded within PSP to prioritise permanency casework including the assessment and authorisation of potential relative/kin carers.
The Department and PSP provider work collaboratively to put in place necessary plans to address any potential or likely issues impacting Placement Referral Acceptance for immediate placements.
A transfer meeting is convened by the transferring provider, prior to, or within 20 business days of the case management transfer date. When a child has a case plan goal of restoration and has newly entered care, the case transfer meeting takes place within 14 days.
Convening the transfer meeting includes administrative tasks such as:
The transferring and receiving provider ensure attendance at the transfer meeting by a practitioner with decision making delegation.
At the transfer meeting, the transferring and receiving provider clarify and agree to roles and responsibilities in addition to those stated in this policy.
At the transfer meeting, and at other times, the transferring provider facilitates a comprehensive discussion about:
The receiving provider participates in discussion and conducts a thorough review of the case history to ensure the best understanding possible of the child’s needs, strengths and supports.
The transferring provider makes available all documents listed on the transfer checklist (PDF, 28.7 KB) to the receiving provider. Ideally, this occurs by the time of placement (transfer date), or at the time of the transfer meeting (at the latest), if this is held after the transfer date. The child’s case plan, where one exists, inclusive of any behavioural support plan, where relevant, is made available to the receiving PSP provider by the transfer date.
When some documents (excluding original birth certificates and passports*) are not able to be provided by the transfer date, or at the transfer meeting, they are obtained and related expenditure incurred by:
The transferring provider ensures all outstanding documents on the transfer checklist to be obtained by them (respectively) are provided to the receiving provider within 20 business days of the transfer meeting.
(* A child’s original birth certificate, filed in court proceedings is always obtained and paid for by the Department. A child’s passport and any re-issue of the passport is always lodged and paid for by the Department.)
Upon the transfer date, the transferring provider stops:
Upon the transfer date, the receiving provider takes over responsibility for incurring all expenditure in relation to external services to the child, parents or family/kin and direct services to the carer and placement.
(* When the transferring provider is the Department, this includes contingencies, exceptions and out of guidelines payments.)
The Department funds certain costs for a child in the primary case responsibility of a PSP provider as part of its statutory role in assessing safety and risk and leading court proceedings. This occurs where:
Costs incurred by the Department include:
A child’s original birth certificate filed in court proceedings, is always obtained and paid for by the Department (and provided to the PSP provider). Re-issue or copies of a child’s birth certificate (as required) is always obtained and paid for by the PSP provider.
A child’s passport (provided to the PSP provider), and any re-issue of the passport is always lodged and paid for by the Department. The PSP Provider is responsible for completing the necessary forms and collating the required documentation (i.e. photographs, certificates) and submitting to the nominated unit for review and approval. The nominated unit is responsible for organising a Justice of the Peace or equivalent to witness documents that need to be provided as part of the passport lodgement.
(* The PSP provider funds evidence-based restoration assessments, and assessment of prospective guardians or adoptive parents.)
Transfer of secondary case responsibility involves internal transfer:
The Department does not transfer secondary case responsibility for children in statutory OOHC to PSP providers*.
(* Even under the deed of agreement with Barnardos Australia, certain aspects of parental responsibility continue to be exercised by the Department on behalf of the Minister.)
When the child is subject to an interim order, the transferring and receiving provider clarify roles and responsibilities including tasks such as the receiving provider’s role in:
Also see court proceedings.
Children are placed in an OOHC placement provided by a PSP provider, when delegation to consent to filing an adoption application for an Aboriginal child, rests with the Secretary.
Whilst the Department may make an application for such an order, the decision of the Children’s Court cannot be pre-empted. The court may make the order sought, or it may make a different order, such as an order allocating some or all aspects of parental responsibility, either solely or jointly, to the Minister and other parties.
If the court makes an order, other than an order allocating parental responsibility to the Minister (at minimum, the aspect of residence):
This decision is subject to Departmental approval of a Director Community Services or Director Operations (delegation level four and above).
Transfer of primary case responsibility between PSP providers may occur if another PSP provider will exercise primary case responsibility for achieving a child’s case plan goal. This can occur when a:
Transfer between PSP providers is avoided when it could weaken continuity of casework, have an adverse impact upon the wellbeing of a child, their parents, siblings or family/kin and decrease the likelihood the child’s case plan goal being achieved. In minimising the need for transfer, innovative approaches are considered to adapt service delivery to the changed circumstances.
Transfer between PSP providers requires prior approval from the nominated unit.
PSP providers support carer mobility across providers when required and in the best interests of the child/children in their care.
Sometimes carers seek to transfer their authorisation from an existing PSP provider to a proposed PSP provider. For example, when carers:
In these circumstances the existing and proposed PSP provider, as well as the Department, have complementary roles:
A PSP provider ceases to hold primary case responsibility when the child exits statutory OOHC in the following scenarios:
In each of these scenarios, primary case responsibility transfers to the Department.
(Note: if a child is restored to their parents and the care order has not yet expired, primary case responsibility remains with the PSP Provider.)
Transfer of primary case responsibility from one PSP provider to another PSP provider occurs in circumstances when the transferring PSP provider ceases to provide OOHC. For example:
If transfer of primary case responsibility does not occur before the transferring PSP provider ceases to deliver OOHC, the Department’s role is to:
The Department temporarily supervises the placement of a child in OOHC when the PSP provider with primary case responsibility:
The Department retains secondary case responsibility and supervises the placement until primary case responsibility can be transferred to an accredited PSP provider.
The Department will identify an alternative PSP provider to which primary case responsibility can be transferred. Primary case responsibility transfer occurs after the receiving PSP provider has authorised the child’s carer.
The transferring PSP provider supports the Department in facilitating transfer to the receiving PSP provider.
The transferring PSP provider is responsible for returning to the Department:
The transferring PSP provider attends and participates in the transfer meeting with the nominated unit and receiving PSP provider.
The Department does not exercise primary case responsibility during a period of supervision. Rather, the Department’s nominated unit supervises the placement.
The nominated unit responsible for supervising the placement undertakes casework tasks including:
The receiving provider does not exercise case responsibility during a period of supervision. Rather the provider supports the Department by:
Nominated units refer to the DCJ Supervising a Placement Policy.
Transfer of primary case responsibility from a PSP provider to the Department occurs in exceptional circumstances when the Department and the PSP provider agree the PSP provider cannot provide the child with safety or can no longer achieve the child’s case plan goal. Transfer to the Department may include:
Transfer to the Department is subject to approval by a Manager Client Services (delegation level five, grade 11 and above), following consultation with the allocated contract manager.
Interstate movement of a child is not the same as interstate transfer of an order.
All proposed interstate movements of children in primary case responsibility of a PSP provider require permission of a departmental Principal Officer, being Director Operations or Director Community Services, 42 days prior to the child moving interstate.
However, the requirement for permission by a Principal Officer does not include interstate travel for shorter periods of up to three months, when it is not intended the child will continue to reside interstate permanently.
Shorter periods of interstate travel, for example, for regular attendance at school in cross border towns or for short holidays, is subject to approval by a Manager Casework (delegation level five and above).
The decision to grant or decline permission for a proposed interstate movement is made by the departmental Principal Officer. The Principal Officer:
When interstate movement of a child in primary case responsibility of a PSP provider is proposed, the PSP provider:
PSP providers exercising primary case responsibility are not delegated any powers or functions of parental responsibility* in relation to interstate movements of children in statutory OOHC.
It is a requirement that a nominated unit hold secondary case responsibility, and make decisions, for the child that has, or will, move interstate. The nominated unit makes all decisions in relation to:
The nominated unit also:
(* Barnardos is delegated certain powers and functions of parental responsibility under a deed entered into by the Minister for DCJ and Barnardos. However, this delegation to Barnardos does not include power to grant permission for interstate movements.)
The Department and the PSP provider exercising primary case responsibility have complementary roles when a Principal Officer grants permission for the interstate movement of a child:
The Department and the PSP provider have complementary roles when a Principal Officer declines to grant permission for the interstate movement of a child.
The Department and the PSP provider have complementary roles when there has been an interstate movement of a child without permission.
The PSP provider convenes an urgent interstate movement meeting, within 14 days, with the nominated unit and any other relevant stakeholders. This includes all administrative tasks such as circulating the meeting minutes within five business days (unless a different timeframe is agreed).
A nominated unit practitioner with decision making delegation (Manager Casework, delegation level five or above) attends the meeting.
The purpose of the interstate movement meeting is to:
Sometimes the nominated unit convenes a legal consultation with the Child Law Legal Officer to obtain additional legal advice (primarily, when there are risk of harm concerns).
For example, advice in relation to:
The Principal Officer, having considered all of the information and advice, makes a decision to grant, or decline, permission for the interstate movement of the child.
In addition, when permission is not granted, the nominated unit convenes a follow-up interstate movement meeting with the provider and other relevant stakeholders. This includes all administrative tasks such as circulating the meeting minutes within five business days (unless a different timeframe is agreed).
The purpose of this meeting is to identify roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder, considering:
Also see PCMP Resources – List: legislation informing practice.
When a PSP provider holds child protection concerns for a child that has moved interstate, the PSP provider makes a report to:
If a PSP provider receives information to indicate a child has moved interstate because of being forcibly abducted, the PSP provider immediately makes a report to:
The decision by the Department to grant or decline permission for a proposed interstate movement of a child is not a reviewable decision (section 245).
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.