Evaluating reform of the child protection and out of home care systems

CEI, in partnership with the Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre Australia, Monash University, and the Melbourne Institute at The University of Melbourne, is leading an evaluation of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services’ Permanency Support Program (“PSP”). The purpose of the evaluation is to assess how effective PSP is in improving outcomes for children, young people and families.

PSP is a service reform of the child protection and out-of-home care systems in NSW, designed to give vulnerable children and young people safe, permanent homes. The program aims to increase permanency of outcomes through four program components: the integration of permanency and early intervention principles in casework; intensive work with birth parents and family to support family preservation and restoration; new approaches in relation to legal guardians, adoptive parents and other carers; and reform to the system of Intensive Therapeutic Care.

CEI and its consortium partners are drawing on their combined strong implementation science and intervention research skills, together with their expertise in child protection and experience in evaluating large and complex reforms, to carry out the evaluation. The evaluation will have process/implementation, outcome and economic components and will include both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, as well as significant sector and stakeholder consultation.

The findings from the evaluation will be used to inform FACS’ policy development and continuous improvement and to guide how PSP’s resources will be allocated. It is expected to be completed in 2021.