Out Of Home Care Assessments
Support Services for Agencies
A sustainable system for carers
Through our many interactions with Out of Home Care agencies and their carers, we constantly hear about the turn over in Caseworkers. Anyone who has worked in this industry understands just how intense the work can be. Case Managers and Caseworkers experience considerable pressure on a daily basis. The nature of the work is highly reactive which often means completing an assessment with carer applicants will take second place to averting a crisis.
Our mission is to complete foster care assessments in a timely manner so suitable applicants can commence caring and children may have a safe place to call home. A thorough foster care assessment process also assures that unsuitable applicants are not authorised. Authorisation of unsuitable applicants can lead to placement breakdown which means children without homes and additional pressure back on the agency.
Foster Care Assessments
A foster care assessment is the process of gathering evidence into a report to decide if carer applicants will be suitable foster carers. This assessment also helps to determine which type of care the applicants will be best suited to. This can include: short term, long term, respite, emergency and restoration.
Step by Step Assessments
The Step by Step tool has been implemented to provide consistency across the industry and ensure all assessments completed are by workers who have undergone specific training.
This tool is currently to be used for assessing General Foster Carers, Relative/Kinship Carers and Guardianship.
A restoration assessment allows our team to work closely with agencies to assess the parenting capacities of parents wishing to be reunited with their children. The assessment aims to identify if a mentally, emotionally and physically safe environment can be provided by a parent/s.
Relative and Kinship Assessments
This tool is used to assess family, friends and the extended network of a child or young person. Successful authorisation as a Relative or Kinship Carer allows a child or young person to live with a familiar face and keep a family connection.
All carers undertake a review at the end of each year since their authorisation. This is the standard across all FACS and non-government agency carers. Although they are an annual occurrence, sometimes an agency will request one if there are specific concerns. A carer review provides existing carers the opportunity to reflect on their journey as carers. They help identify strategies that are working and areas where assistance may be required.
Having reviews done by an independent agency such as Caring with Carers yields many benefits such as:
Clear outcomes and recommendations
Confidential space without judgement
Follow up with both parties
The Guardianship assessment allows agencies to decide if a carer/s can be recommended to the Children’s Court to become a Guardian of the child/young person they are caring for. Guardianship lasts until the child/young person turns eighteen years of age or until the court order changes.