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More assessors to determine the best permanency options for children and young people

Last published on 19 Mar 2018 in News

A new, expanded panel of Independent Assessors across NSW will help boost permanency planning for children and young people who are in, or at risk of entering, out-of-home-care.

A new, expanded panel of Independent Assessors across NSW will help boost permanency planning for children and young people who are in, or at risk of entering, out-of-home-care.

Changes under the Permanency Support Program from 1 October 2017 require that permanency planning is embedded in each new case plan, with a goal for achieving permanency, in most cases, within two years.

By providing impartial, high quality assessment reports about the quality of relationships a child or young person is developing with their permanent caregivers, Independent Assessors play an integral role in helping caseworkers and Managers Casework determine the most appropriate permanency pathways for these children and young people. Caseworkers from non-government service providers are invited to draw from the panel too.

Up to now, there have been too few Assessors to meet the growing assessment demand. We’re changing that by increasing their numbers, capacity and accessibility across NSW.

Panel members will be able to help caseworkers by writing assessment reports, preparing court reports, negotiating adoptions plans and carrying out supplementary casework (such as Life Story work, to gather and record information about a child or young person’s family, community and personal life journey).

The benefits of the new panel include:

  • helping to identify the best option to provide each child and young person with a loving home for life, thereby reducing the numbers of children and young people entering or remaining in out-of-home-care
  • more streamlined processes to engage an Independent Assessor
  • opportunities to build professional capacity
  • clearer expectations of performance outcomes to ensure a high and consistent service quality.

Visit http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/permanency-support-program/resources/panel-of-independent-assessors to view the panel and find out how it can help you.