The State of Care 2015 report was released 27 August and is the first annual summary from Children’s Commission independent monitoring of Child, Youth and Family’s policies, practices and services. It includes feedback from children and young people about their experiences in the system.
While the 2015 report found pockets of excellent practice within Child, Youth and Family (CYF), it also highlights inconsistencies in the care and services provided to children. It also reveals a lack of accessible information about how well children are doing while in care and their outcomes once they have left the system.
The report aggregates the findings of the monitoring reports completed for a sample of sites and residences between January 2014 and June 2015, and summarises the voices of children in care who shared their views with the Commission during that time.
It looks at how well children in care are doing according to available data on measures of wellbeing, including health, education and justice outcomes, and draws on what the Commission learned from our engagement with stakeholders and wider child advocacy work in the period.
On the basis of these findings, it makes recommendations to improve CYF’s performance.
- Issues of workforce capacity and capability mean practice is not consistent
- Child, Youth and Family is not sufficiently child-centred
- Child Youth and Family do not know if children are better off as a result of their intervention as they are not measuring outcomes reliably, and
- Alongside children’s immediate safety, CYF needs to focus on improving their outcomes.
What needs to change - summary
- Set clear expectations about CYF’s core purpose and the outcomes it needs to achieve;
- Ensure CYF is fully child-centred in all its activities;
- Invest more in on-going support for children in all types of care placements;
- Address capacity and capability issues across the CYF workforce;
- Improve cultural capability across the organisation;
- Collect and analyse relevant data to drive improved outcomes for children; and
- Set clear expectations for other state agencies responsible for improving the outcomes of children in care.