The audit assessed how well the Department of Family and Community Services has transferred the management of children in out-of-home care to non-government organisations (NGOs).
The Department has put considerable effort into developing the out-of-home care sector and is progressing well towards its goal of transferring all children in statutory care to NGOs. Since 2011, the number of children with an accredited NGO has more than doubled. This is a positive outcome as children are more likely to receive quality care because these providers meet NSW standards for outof-home care.
However, it is difficult to assess whether overall outcomes for children in care have improved. This is because the Department has yet to determine what wellbeing outcomes it wants to achieve, such as improvements in a child’s health, education and welfare. The Department is currently developing a quality assurance framework which will include such outcomes. We also found that the number of children in care returned to their birth family has declined, and the number of adoptions has remained relatively unchanged.