Guide for Out of Home Care Teachers

A guide provided for OOHC Teachers, particularly those new to the position looking for direction.

Image: Two female teachers talking and writing in the staffroom

A) What is Statutory Out of Home Care?

Students in Statutory Out of Home Care (OOHC) include all children and young people (CYP), enrolled or applying to enrol in a government school or preschool, for whom the Minister of Communities and Justice (DCJ) has sole or shared parental responsibility (PRM) for residence and / or education (Memorandum of Understanding between NSW Education and Communities and NSW Family and Community Services, 2011).

CYP are placed in Statutory OOHC pursuant to an Interim or Final Order of the NSW Children’s Court. Children’s Court orders are granted under the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 and may cover all or some aspects of parental responsibility e.g. residence, education, religious and cultural upbringing, medical treatment, contact.

Other Statutory OOHC arrangements covering education and/or residence that are acknowledged by the DOE OOHC program include:

  • Students who are under the care and protection of the Secretary of Community Services.
  • Students who are under the parental responsibility of a non-government OOHC agency pursuant to an order from the NSW Children’s Court.
  • Students who are subject to statutory care orders in other Australian states, territories or New Zealand.
  • Students who are subject to international care and protection orders if DCJ provides case management.

 

B) What are the different types of care?

Statutory OOHC: Occurs when the Children’s Court has made an order allocating Parental Responsibility to the Minister either on an interim or permanent basis requiring a Child or Young Person (CYP) to live with a person for more than 14 days, who is usually not their parent. It DOEs not include care provided by a relative unless the Minister has parental responsibility.

Supported OOHC: Occurs when the Secretary of DCJ decides that a Child or Young Person (CYP) is in need of care and protection and there are no court orders in place, for example a family member other than the CYP’s parent is caring for them. This includes temporary care which is a short-term arrangement that the CYP’s parent has agreed to where family is supported to resolve issues concerning the safety, welfare and wellbeing of the CYP.

Voluntary OOHC: Is a voluntary arrangement made by a parent with a designated agency or agency registered with the NSW Children’s Guardian where Community Services has no involvement in the placement.

Kinship: Relative or kinship care is a type of care that places a CYP with a relative or someone they already know, for example a grandparent. Caring by relatives is a common practice across cultures, but the term kinship care can have different meanings for different cultural groups. In Aboriginal communities, kin may be a relative of the child or young person or someone who shares a cultural or community connection. Being in kinship care DOEs not have any direct bearing on whether the CYP is also in Statutory OOHC.

Guardianship: If a guardianship order is made, the CYP will be cared for by their guardian until they turn 18, or the Children’s Court changes the order. This is not the same as Statutory OOHC.

OOHC Teachers support students in Statutory OOHC.

 

C) What is an Out of Home Care agency?

OOHC agencies provide foster care and/or intensive therapeutic care for CYP in Statutory OOHC. This includes non-government OOHC service providers and DCJ. All designated OOHC agencies in NSW must be accredited by the NSW Children’s Guardian.

There are more than 60 OOHC agencies in NSW (including DCJ) which are accredited, providing varying levels of support and different models of care.

Approximately 95% of CYP in Statutory OOHC live in home based care and 5% of CYP in Statutory OOHC are in therapeutic care settings.

A list of accredited OOHC agencies in NSW, the guidelines for designated OOHC agencies and the NSW Standards for Statutory OOHC are available on the Office of the Children’s Guardian website:

http://www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/accreditation

 

D) What is Parental Responsibility, Case Management and Casework?

Parental responsibility is a legal responsibility that entails decision making for the health, welfare and wellbeing of a CYP. It is defined under Section 3 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 as entailing “. . . all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to their children”.

Parental Responsibility to the Minister (PRM) is delegated to the Minister for Communities and Justice.

Case Management is accountability for the systematic process of assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring and review of activities to ensure the health, welfare and wellbeing needs of CYP in Statutory OOHC are met. Government and non-government agencies with case management responsibility aim to strengthen outcomes for CYP and their families through integrated and coordinated service delivery.

Casework refers to practical day to day involvement with children, young people, carers and families. Casework includes implementation of the case plan, coordination of services and supports, and monitoring. Casework activities can be shared between caseworkers from one or more agencies.

 

E) Who has Case Management for students in Statutory OOHC?

a. DCJ Case Management

Case Management for a CYP in Statutory OOHC on an Interim Order is usually delegated to DCJ Child Protection Caseworkers and Case Managers until court action is complete. Case management is then usually transferred to the Out of Home Care Casework Team if a Final Order is made by the NSW Children’s Court.

Sometimes Casework Specialists at the Community Service Centre (CSC) assists Child Protection and OOHC caseworkers with aspects of casework.

Case management for CYP in Statutory OOHC who have high and complex support needs may be transferred to the DCJ Regional Intensive Support Services (ISS) team.

A full list of NSW CSC’s and DCJ Regional Offices can be located at:

https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/about/contact

 

b. Case Management Transfer to Non-Government OOHC Service Providers

Case management for the majority of CYP in long term Statutory OOHC is transferred from DCJ to non-government OOHC service providers. A caseworker from the new provider will then substitute for the DCJ caseworker in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between DCJ and DOE.

The DCJ Child & Family District Unit (CFDU) is responsible for coordinating case management transfers to service providers. DCJ and the service provider must negotiate and agree on the initial case plan for the CYP before case management transfer can take place.

After case management transfer takes effect, DCJ retains parental responsibility and most parental decision-making responsibilities are delegated to the service provider and the carer. The DCJ Regional Office retains decision making responsibilities in areas such as passports and interstate travel, use of psychotropic medications, surgery and reallocating case management if the service provider is unable to maintain case management responsibility.

More information about case management can be found at:

https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/providers/children-families/interagency-guidelines/case-management/chapters/about

 

F) Decision making – Checklist for Schools (2021)

The Checklist for Schools (2021) outlines who make decision on behalf of students in statutory OOHC. This has been jointly developed by DCJ and DOE to help schools differentiate the decision making responsibilities of:

  • The carer who has day-to-day care responsibility
  • The caseworker with delegated case management responsibility
  • The DCJ Case Manager

A) With schools

As an OOHC teacher new to the role, contact the Principal at each of your schools via email:

  • Introduce yourself as the OOHC teacher supporting their school
  • Establish who the school has nominated as their OOHC contact(s). This will vary from school to school and could be multiple people depending on the size and structure of the school (TIP: Consider how you store this information – if you use Mail Merge it can simplify processes in the future)
  • Arrange a meeting if necessary with the OOHC contact or Learning Support Team (LST)

 

B) With local OOHC service providers and DCJ Community Service Centres (CSC)

Contact the local DCJ Community Service Centre OOHC Manager and introduce yourself. Do the same for all service providers given to you at handover and as you discover them in your work. Create opportunities to build relationships and to put names to faces. This can either be in person or online.

Email caseworkers as you acquire their details from Notice to Schools and Change of Details advice. Send a self-introduction email to them as you add them to your contacts or update the student’s information.

The number of agencies and caseworkers and the frequency at which caseworkers change, will influence how you keep caseworkers updated.

  • Caseworkers and agencies may require updating or revisiting of relevant DOE changes, the purpose and process of the Education Pathway, the OOHC Change Funding process (PowerPoint and associated PDFs are available on our TEAMs page), the OOHC teacher role and how OOHC teachers support students in OOHC in government schools.
  • Provide agency personnel with presentations on any of the above either in person or online or run larger sessions to which multiple agencies are all invited to attend simultaneously.
  • Attend interagency meetings with OOHC service providers and DCJ OOHC teams to build and maintain relationships.

 

C) Other examples of liaising with agencies/caseworkers regarding individual student cases may include-

  • Clarifying the understanding of the specific role and responsibilities of the OOHC teacher in meeting the needs of students in OOHC
  • Gathering relevant background information regarding care and trauma experience and how this may impact on student behaviour, learning and wellbeing
  • Supporting caseworkers and managers to share information and provide all documentation that relates to the student’s educational needs and possible supports
  • Promoting confidentiality in sharing of information between school, service providers and carers to ensure that this information is only shared with education staff who are required to have such knowledge
  • Assist school principals and agencies to promote a collaborative environment by ensuring all relevant stakeholders are invited to attend meetings
  • Supporting the development of OOHC planning and the implementation of strategies
  • Assisting with requests for assessment referrals and support
  • Assisting caseworkers and managers to link other services who may be involved with the student, e.g. Health, OT, Speech, Psychologist to the appropriate DOE staff members
  • Advising agencies of the enrolment process and documentation to be provided to the school and assisting with new school enrolments and providing advice on local schools and settings
  • Supporting children and young people in OOHC to receive coordinated service delivery at key stages or during changes in circumstances in their school life
  • Supporting caseworkers and agencies during transition points, e.g. P-K, 6-7, 10-11, mainstream to specialist support placement
  • Liaising between parties when conflict arises and working toward achieving common goals to improve the educational outcomes of students in OOHC
  • Liaison regarding students in OOHC who have complex needs, e.g. engagement or attendance issues, or students who have been suspended or expelled
  • Supporting caseworkers and agencies in understanding relevant DOE policies and procedures     

 

D) With carers

  • Most communication with Carers occurs in the context of formal meetings
  • If direct communication with Carers is required, this should be with the knowledge of other stakeholders, ie. the school and caseworker
  • Carers should be included in all planning meetings

The OOHC Education Pathway is an agreement between DCJ and the three major education sectors in NSW (Government, Catholic and Independent) on how pre-school and school aged children and young people in statutory OOHC will be supported at school. This pathway is designed to support all children and young people in Statutory care, regardless of case management agency or which school sector they attend. For students attending a DOE school, it is triggered when an agency or DCJ sends a Notice to School to OOHC.cps@det.nsw.edu.au notifying the DOE that a CYP has entered OOHC.

The Pathway is in place to provide collaborative and consistent educational support to each child and young person in OOHC, supporting them to engage in suitable quality education ensuring they reach their full learning potential and as a means to keep schools updated on any change of circumstance for the CYP.

OOHC teachers may need to:

  • Support caseworkers and managers to understand and follow the Education Pathway process
  • Support caseworkers and managers to accurately provide Notice to Schools (NTS) and Change of Details (COD) documentation
  • Promote the use of the OOHC Education Pathway email address to send NTS and COD documentation OOHC.cps@det.nsw.edu  
  • Inform agencies about specialist support available in schools for CYP in OOHC with complex needs, eg. disruptive and risk-taking behaviours, mental health issues, high level challenging behaviours and complex health issues

 

A) Children/Young People in statutory OOHC new to you

You may hear about a student in one of four ways - an email from the Department’s OOHC.cps@det.nsw.edu.au; from the school; from a caseworker; or from another OOHC teacher.

If notified by school:
  • Ask if the school has received a Notice to School (NTS) or a Change of Details (COD) advice
  • Ensure the student is identified on ERN as being in statutory OOHC
If notified by caseworker:
  • Check the caseworker has sent the Notice to School (NTS) or a Change of Details (COD) through. If not, advise them to do so using the OOHC Education Pathway email OOHC.cps@det.nsw.edu.au
If notified by department email via a Notice to School (NTS) or a Change of Details (COD):
  • Contact the school and offer support
If notified by another OOHC teacher
  • Contact the caseworker and check they have sent the Notice to School (NTS) or a Change of Details (COD) through to OOHC.cps@det,nsw.edu,au  
Helpful Tip: 

With all students – Check the student’s legal status by contacting local DCJ Community Service Centre (CSC)

  • You will need the student’s Name and DOB
  • You want to find out if they are in STATUTORY OOHC
  • You might only be told there is an open file (this does not automatically equate to statutory OOHC)
  • Ask for the name of the caseworker
  • You might be referred to another CSC office where the case is managed instead

 

 B) In all cases

  • Liaise with the school and contact the caseworker to:
    • Gather background information regarding the student, if not already known
    • Find out what other services may be involved with the student, e.g. Health, OT, Speech, Psychologist, etc
    • Check the student’s legal status
  • If background is already known, and a COD advice simply indicates a Change in caseworker, introduce yourself to the new caseworker
  • If new enrolment, clarify if enrolment meeting has already occurred and if not seek invitation
    • Ensure caseworker signs enrolment form
    • Suggest getting caseworker/carer to also sign:
      • permission to see School Counsellor/Psychologist
      • permission to Share Medical Information
      • permission to publish
    • Establish care & contact arrangements and limitations, AVOs/ADVOs
    • If necessary, tactfully reveal any known information that may be pertinent if it is otherwise not forthcoming, eg. if a history of behaviour/health issues is known by you but has not been raised
  • If already enrolled, seek meeting via appropriate channels, with classroom teacher/Year Adviser/Head Teacher Wellbeing and other relevant school personnel to:
    • Exchange information on:
      • How the student is settling in
      • (Appropriate) background information to share with the classroom teacher
      • How complex trauma may manifest itself in the classroom and at school:
        • the behaviours we might see
        • buttons and triggers to be aware of and avoid where possible
        • strategies to support the student 
      • Highlight the OOHC Change Funding process, both Method 1 & Method 2
      • Provide suggestions on how OOHC Change Funding can be utilised - teacher and SLSO time
      • Discuss the OOHC Personalised Learning and Support Planning (PLaSP) process
        • who is involved
        • when it should occur
        • what is the aim & why we do it
      • Clarify who signed the enrolment papers (must be caseworker not carer)
      • Suggest getting permission to see School Counsellor/Psychologist, permission to Share Medical Information and permission to publish documents signed
      • Provide Roles & Responsibilities information
      • Offer information on how else the OOHC Teacher can assist and support the school

Transition between Specialised School placements

Transitions between specialised settings are the responsibility of the Learning & Wellbeing Team. The OOHC teacher may be asked to contribute information to an Access Request application for support class placement or transition to an SSP or Distance Education.

  • Link the caseworker to the Learning & Wellbeing Officer for the school the student is currently attending, as they are better placed to provide advice
  • Raise with the current school the possibility of, and potential need to submit an OLIF application to support any transition that may happen in advance of the actual change in education setting

 

Transition to Kindergarten

A Notice to School should be issued by the organisation holding case management i.e. DCJ or the OOHC service provider. Once issued, this will automatically trigger Method 1 OOHC Change Funding to the school to support the student.

Being proactive (for Kindergarten enrolments)
  • Contact the OOHC service providers & DCJ caseworkers/managers in term 3, requesting a list of children in OOHC who will be transitioning to kindergarten in the following year including any information regarding special needs, etc 
  • Schools or caseworkers may also contact you
  • Assist to facilitate interagency meetings regarding potentially problematic kindergarten transitions in the year prior to commencing
  • If the student is in a DOE preschool then it may be appropriate for the preschool to submit an OLIF application to support transition
  • Ensure enrolling primary school is well acquainted with the OOHC Change Funding process, both Method 1 & Method 2. Commencing kindergarten attracts Method 1 funding  

 

Transition to Year 7

  • Contact schools early in term 4 requesting information on their Year 6 students in OOHC who will be transitioning to a high school setting the following year
  • Use your own records of year 6 students to cross-reference transitions to year 7
At the primary school:
  • Ensure the primary school is aware of their ability to submit an OLIF (Method 2) application to run additional transition programs and provide support for a year 6 student who may struggle with the high school transition
At the high school:
  • Ensure the high school is aware of the OOHC Change Funding available to them via an OLIF application if additional support is needed to assist the student with the transition to high school
  • Seek a meeting with Year Adviser/Head Teacher Wellbeing and other relevant school personnel to:
    • Exchange information on:
      • How the student is settling in
      • (Appropriate) background information to share with the classroom teacher
      • How complex trauma may manifest itself in the classroom and at school:
        • the behaviours we might see
        • buttons & triggers to be aware of and avoid where possible
        • strategies to support the student
      • Highlight the OOHC Change Funding process, both Method 1 & Method 2
      • Provide suggestions on how OOHC Change Funding can be utilised - teacher and SLSO time
      • Clarify who signed the enrolment papers (must be caseworker not carer)
      • Suggest getting permission to see School Counsellor/Psychologist, permission to Share Medical Information and permission to publish documents signed
      • Provide Roles & Responsibilities information
      • Offer information on how the OOHC teacher can assist and support the school particularly with developing a transition plan

Where appropriate and necessary, suggest and offer to facilitate meetings between the primary and secondary school settings prior to transition during term 4. These may or may not involve caseworkers, carers and other stakeholders.

 

Transition to work or leaving care

  • You may be contacted by:
    • The Support Teacher Transition
    • The school
    • The caseworker
    • The carer
Once you do know:

Contact -

  • Support Teacher Transition, (for students with disability) if they are not already involved
  • School Careers Advisor
  • School Counsellor or Psychologist
  • Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer (ACLO) to support Aboriginal students
  • Aboriginal Student Liaison Officer (ASLO) to support Aboriginal students, or HSLO
  • Remind schools of their ability to submit an OLIF application to support a student for whom preparing a Leaving Care Plan is creating issues around engagement with Learning &/or Wellbeing
  • An OLIF application may also be submitted by the school to provide additional support for the student to prepare them for the transition to work

The role of the Out of Home Care teacher relies strongly upon a sound relationship between schools, teachers and agencies. The following outlines many of the key ways the OOHC teacher can develop sound relationships with schools, in conjunction with the collaborative sharing of expertise, to support the needs of students in statutory Out of Home Care.

  • Assist schools in contacting caseworkers when required
  • Assist schools with new enrolments, engaging in meetings with DCJ and or OOHC service providers, is key to building relationships with schools-
    • Collecting and sharing of relevant information
    • Assisting in planning for the student
    • Ensuring a Change of Details advice or Notice to School has been completed by the agency so that OOHC Change Funding is triggered
  • Build the capacity of staff to cater of students in OOHC, including an understanding of trauma informed practice and effective Personalised Learning and Support Planning (PLaSP)
  • Inform and advise staff about the OOHC Change Funding Process, including ideas on effective (creative) use of OOHC Change Funding
  • Assist in establishing the legal status of a student. Clarify the difference between Statutory / Guardianship / Kinship / Supported / Voluntary care
    • Only students in Statutory OOHC are supported by OOHC Change Funding (OCF) in government schools – Preschool to Year 12
    • Schools can contact caseworkers to clarify the status of a student if they are unsure
  • Assist with:
    • Online Learning Impact Forms
    • Personalised Learning and Support Planning
    • Behaviour Support Plans (Risk Assessments)
  • Encourage Learning Support Teams to make the planning process - positive, constructive, strength based, aspirational and collaborative
  • Liaise with caseworkers and agencies
  • Take an active role in interagency and complex case meetings including return from suspension meetings
  • Coordinate relevant support personnel for a collaborative meeting about a student (most meetings are held at the school). Offer to schedule virtual meetings if more suitable.
  • Many schools have complex OOHC students who require frequent ongoing meetings. At times the OOHC teacher may make suggestions to involve non-school based specialist staff for further advice, support and/or guidance

Keep in mind, many schools may not have students in OOHC or may only have one or two. As such, schools may not be aware of the role of the OOHC teacher. Highlight the services and supports the OOHC teacher can provide, particularly around capacity building and assisting with personalised planning.

 

Strategies to consider:

Regular email contact:

Raise the awareness of the OOHC teacher role and of yourself as the specific contact for each school by having scheduled email communication with Principals and their nominated OOHC contact(s).

For Example:

  • Term 1 - Self introduction and a request for confirmation of who the school nominated OOHC contacts will be for that year. Remind schools that all OOHC students require PLaSP within the first month.
  • Term 2 - Remind schools of the OOHC teacher’s role in capacity building E.g. Trauma Informed Practice (TIP) and around an awareness and understanding of the OOHC Change Funding process and the other supports previously discussed.
  • Term 3 - Follow up PLaSP within the school, reminding schools of their need for reviews after reporting periods or after significant changes in a student’s life.  
  • Term 4 - Make inquiries about anticipated students involved in transitions to kindergarten or year 7 in the following year. Highlight the possibility of submitting an OLIF application to support those transitions where necessary.

Invariably other matters will come up, e.g. the impact of extreme weather conditions, COVID-19, etc. Try to combine all the information necessary into one general communication email per term.

  • Enrolment Meetings
  • Personalised Learning and Support Planning or Personalised Learning Pathways (PLP) meetings
  • Return from suspension meetings
  • Complex Case meetings with the school only
  • Interagency Complex Case meetings involving school & other agencies (e.g. DCJ, OOHC service provider, Health etc)
  • Complex Case meetings with Delivery Support and Specialist Services (usually around placement options)
  • Complex Case meeting with Network Specialist Facilitator (particularly if there are communication issues between agencies)
  • Case Review Meetings - these are organised by the caseworker and cross many areas of a student’s life, eg. education, health, finance, placement etc. Education is just one aspect. The OOHC teacher may be asked to attend the education component. These are not usually held on school grounds as Education is just one aspect and may not even be present for the rest of the meeting.

 

Meeting Format

The decision as to which is most appropriate will depend on the nature of the meeting, availability  and the support required.

In Person Meetings
  • Where possible, essential for serious matters when the student is going to be present, eg. suspension resolution meeting
  • Tend to be better for the delivery of presentations
  • If your travel time is more than 2 hrs each way, then you should discuss the availability of overnight accommodation with your supervisor (School Principal and/or supporting LWC/NSF)
  • Use and access to a DOE vehicle should be discussed with your supervisor
  • Use of a private vehicle requires prior approval and should be discussed with your supervisor

(Blanket Authority to Travel form is required for all travel, whether using DOE or private vehicle)

 

Online/Virtual Meetings:

Online meetings allow more people to join meetings.

  • All carers have the opportunity to participate, without taking time off work, thus enhancing communication
  • Wider participation also helps to ensure consistency in the message and keeping everyone on the same page
  • Caseworkers and OOHC teachers can literally go from one meeting to the next in a matter of minutes
  • Increase productivity through the elimination of travel time, eg. 2 hours of travelling for a 30 minute meeting; losing time due to a meeting starting late; driving out to a school only to discover the meeting was cancelled by an email sent whilst in transit
  • Reduce travel costs for all involved
  • For planning meetings, the student is not being asked to walk into a room and face a multitude of adults
    • If structured well, the student can sit with one, perhaps 2 teachers and everyone else participating in the meeting (including other school personnel) can all be on the other side of the screen/monitor/smart board. This is far less daunting and traumatic for students who are already coming from a trauma background
    • Allows the plan to be shared on everyone’s screen so all can see and follow the plan, and if done in a collaborative rather than consultative fashion, can watch as the information is populated on the blank plan
  • Makes scheduling meetings easier due to the increased flexibility with time

 

Tele Conference Meetings:
  • Allows flexibility for attendees who might not otherwise be able to attend

Note: Does not allow the advantage of being able to read body language and facial expressions

  • It is not physically possible to attend the planning meeting for each and every student in OOHC
    • Whilst the OOHC teacher may have known about the individual for a long time, they probably know the individual student the least at a personal level
    • Students in OOHC have a lot of adults drifting in and out of their lives so thought should be given to how appropriate it is to add to that number
    • Complex cases may be the exception to this rule where the ongoing support of the OOHC teacher is being requested by the school 
  • Aim to attend the first planning meeting at a school for a student in OOHC, to encourage and to support a positive, constructive, strength based, aspirational approach to planning that is collaborative rather than a deficit, consultative model 
  • If possible and given the opportunity, role model how a good planning meeting can be run to ensure it is: positive, constructive, strength based, aspirational and collaborative
  • It is not the role of the OOHC teacher to collect and distribute plans
  • The student must be given the option to be present, where capable. If the student declines, they should be given the opportunity to make their views known before the meeting and a spokesperson should speak on their behalf
  • Reviews of OOHC plans are required 12 monthly (at a minimum), preferably after all reporting periods or as changes occur for the OOHC student. Participants for PLaSP meetings include the student, relevant school staff, OOHC teacher, carer and agencies.

Trauma Informed Practice

Many students in statutory OOHC have a trauma background. Where confident, the OOHC teacher can assist in building the capacity of teachers’ understanding of Trauma Informed Practice (TIP). This may occur through LST meetings, incidental discussions, student meetings, sharing resources, staff presentations or recommending particular upcoming seminars and/or speakers that are external to the Department of Education, from reputable organisations.

The Department of Education has developed a series of 4 professional learning modules for schools - Trauma Informed Practice for Improved Learning and Wellbeing. OOHC Teachers may be involved in the delivery of these modules to schools as facilitators, following relevant training.

 

Increasing understanding in schools about the OOHC legal obligations as well as other OOHC processes:

These may include:

  • Confidentiality issues
  • Data breach obligations
  • Students in OOHC and photos (this can in fact vary from student to student)
  • Enrolment signature (must be the caseworker)
  • OOHC planning requirements
  • OOHC Change Funding:
    • The 2 different methods
    • Who does what
    • How it can be spent
    • How to apply for it (Method 2) and does it meet the criteria of impacting on the student’s engagement with their learning, sense of wellbeing, safety and connectedness
  • The various Roles & Responsibilities of School, Carers, OOHC service providers & DCJ (Checklist for Schools)

As the OOHC teacher you need to know about OOHC Change Funding and how it works.

 

Method 1: Externally triggered funding

This is automatically triggered once the DOE receives a notification from a caseworker/agency of a child entering statutory OOHC or about a significant change in a child’s life. Eg. new school, new carer, etc. A funding notification and the details of the change are sent directly to the Principal’s email address. Funding arrives via a Budget Adjustment. It is important for schools to note that as soon as they receive the funding notification, they are guaranteed the funding support, so they can immediately start planning and supporting the student.

Notice to School which automatically trigger OOHC Change Funding, are primarily issued by DCJ. Even if a child comes into care and has their case immediately transferred to a OOHC service provider, DJC will issue the Notice to School. The two exceptions are:

  • If the child is in care under full case management by the OOHC service provider prior to commencing Kindergarten. In this instance the NTS should be issued by the OOHC service provider
  • If the CYP in care was previously attending a non-Government school but commences attending a Government school. In this instance a NTS should be issued by the OOHC service provider

 

Method 2: School triggered funding 

Funding is available for support when students in statutory OOHC experience life changes (not already captured through Method 1), that adversely impact on their learning, wellbeing or access to the curriculum. This is accessed by completing the Online Learning Impact Form (OLIF). You may advise schools to use this method of funding and the school representative completes the OLIF application.

OOHC teachers are included in every funding notification for students in their schools.

  • Child Protection Advisor, State Office
  • Other OOHC teachers
  • Networked Specialist Facilitator (NSF)
  • Learning and Wellbeing Coordinator (LWC)
  • Your own Principal
  • Learning Wellbeing Officer (LWO)
  • Learning Wellbeing Advisor (LWA)
  • Assistant Principal, Learning & Support
  • Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer (ACLO)
  • Aboriginal Student Liaison Officer (ASLO)
  • Attendance Support Officer (HSLO)
  • School Counsellors/Psychologists
  • Senior Psychologist Education (SPE)
  • Caseworker/Case Manager for OOHC service provider or DCJ

 

Use the School Services page on the portal to determine who supports which school.

  • Schools are expected to keep their own lists of students in statutory OOHC
  • You may be asked to confirm a student’s care status or assist the school in following up an enquiry with DCJ or a OOHC service provider
  • Ensure schools know how to enter OOHC status in ERN and that records are up to date including contact details

 

Note: Some of these links are available to add as quick link tiles on your portal page. All can be added to your Favourites/Bookmarks. It is also possible to create your own quick link tiles to add to your portal home page... ask a colleague how.

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