NSW Moves Out-Of-Home Care to NFPs
12 July 2012 at 10:59 am
The NSW Government has begun to transfer the provision of out-of-home care to the non-government sector.
The Government says it has awarded $123 million to 38 non-government organisations to provide out-of-home care services to assist 6,800 children and young people who cannot live safely with their families.
“We have now finalised a highly competitive tender that will secure improved out-of-home care for children and young people across NSW,” Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward said.
“Following the shocking deaths of several children known to the Department of Community Services, a Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW was set up by the previous Government. The Hon James Wood AO QC handed down his report in November 2008.
“One of his key independent recommendations was to transfer out-of-home care to non-government agencies which are better placed to support and improve the lives of vulnerable children and young people in out-of-home care.”
Justice Wood’s report stated : “Casework for children and young persons both entering and in out-of-home care who are under the management of DoCS [now Community Services] can often be neglected due to prioritisation of crisis driven work.”
He continued : “NGOs have smaller and less formalised management structures and often have great capability to implement reform and innovative service models more quickly than government agencies.”
Goward said the former Labor Government agreed with and promoted this recommendation but failed to make this improvement in services for vulnerable children and young people.
Goward said 38 agencies, including 18 new providers, have been awarded total funding of $123,941,000 over four years to provide secure, stable and safe places for the State’s most vulnerable children.
“The tender attracted applications from 86 service providers which were assessed by seven regional assessment panels, overseen by independent probity advisers,” she said.
Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies Andrew McCallum welcomed the progress on the transfer.
“This announcement is another cornerstone in the Government’s commitment to the provision of out-of-home care services by accredited non-government organisations as per Justice Wood’s recommendation,” McCallum said.
“This tender process has identified 11 Aboriginal agencies that will be delivering out-of-home care services in the future, up from the current number of just seven,” the CEO of The Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat NSW Bill Pritchard said.
“This growth will include expansion of current agencies, new agencies being established and Aboriginal agencies partnering with accredited non-Aboriginal service providers.
“This increase in Aboriginal agencies aims to achieve our goal that all Aboriginal children and young people in out-of-home care are better cared for by Aboriginal carers, supported by Aboriginal caseworkers in locally managed Aboriginal agencies over the next 10 years.
“The Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat will be supporting the new and growing agencies to build their capacity and provide the best outcomes for Aboriginal children in care,” Pritchard said.
Service Providers List
Aboriginal Medical Service Western Sydney
Anglicare Canberra & Goulburn
Biripi Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service
Burrun Dalai Aboriginal Corporation Incorporated
Care West Incorporated
Catholic Care Wollongong
CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning
Centacare- CatholicCare Family Services – Diocese of Broken Bay
Challenge Disability Services
Creating Links Cooperative Ltd
Foundations Child and Family Support
House With No Steps
Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services
Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation
KARI Aboriginal Resources
Life Without Barriers
Mackillop Family Services
Marist Youth Care
Marymead Child and Family Centre
Ngunya Jarjum Aboriginal Corporation
Settlement Services International
South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation
The Benevolent Society
The Salvation Army
William Campbell Foundation