Territory Stories

Annual Report 2015-2016 Office of the Children's Commissioner Northern Territory



Annual Report 2015-2016 Office of the Children's Commissioner Northern Territory

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Tabled Paper 143


Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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TEMPORARY PLACEMENT ARRANGEMENTS In 2015-16, there were 32 TPAs entered into relating to 25 children. This indicates a marked decline of 35 per cent from 2014 15 and 71 per cent from 2013-14. 12 per cent of the TPAs were not signed by the parent/s or an appropriate delegate (13 per cent decline) and 38 per cent of the TPAs could not be located on file (increase from 22 per cent last year). Although there were less TPAs used in 2015-16 there continues to be an increase in the proportion that were missing from the files. Only 20 per cent of the children entered foster care at the conclusion of the TPA compared to 28 per cent in 2014-15. This is indicative of the TPAs being used appropriately. Key Findings CARE PLANS 94 per cent of the sample children had a care plan and 85 per cent of the plans were current. These are very similar to the 2014-15 results of 97 per cent and 82 per cent respectively. LEAVING CARE PLANS 27 per cent of the sample of young people 15 years or older had a specific leaving care plan on file, which is significantly less than 42 per cent in 2014-15. A large proportion, 73 per cent, do not have specific leaving care plans to assist them in their transition out of care. CASEWORKER CONTACT WITH CHILDREN IN CARE Caseworkers are required to regularly visit children in care. Our review found that 65 per cent of children in care had contact with their caseworkers in the two months prior to the review date (30 June 2016). Territory Families guidelines state that this contact should occur once a month. The file review revealed that this contact occurred in only 65 per cent of cases. These rates have not improved from the 2015 review numbers, which were 76 per cent for the two months and the one-month figure was 65 per cent. LEAVING CARE SUPPORT The Office reviews outcomes of Anglicare NTs Moving On program, which provides a brokerage and referral service for young people going through this transition. Anglicare facilitates the Australian Government funded Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA) in the NT. The Moving On program is supporting more young people than ever before. Availability of accommodation services continues to be a critical concern with young people adding to the increasing numbers of homeless people. Most of the referral and brokerage services provided by Moving On relate to this issue. Government services need to ensure appropriate public housing options and support is available to these young people. OFFICE OF THE CHILDRENS COMMISSIONER NORTHERN TERRITORY ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16 73

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