Amid the evolving COVID-19 situation, ACWA has compiled the following links to information, advice and resources that are specific to our sector. We will be regularly updating this page as new information comes to hand.
Department of Communities and Justice Information
The COVID-19 Guidelines for Residential Out-of-Home Care (OOHC) Settings and Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) have been merged and updated. The new Guidelines respond to the continuing evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Should you have any questions about the topics above, please do not hesitate to contact OOHCRecontracting@facs.nsw.gov.au
- For Permanency Support Program Service Providers
- For Intensive Therapeutic Care Service Providers
- For Targeted Early Intervention Services
- For Specialist Homelessness Services
- For Carers
- Delivering essential services
- Workplace safety
- Latest video updates
Access to DCJ’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) re-opened on 22 July, 2021 to provide additional support to staff of contracted service providers.
If you have any COVID-specific questions you would like DCJ to answer, email: COVID19.Support@facs.nsw.gov.au
NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian Updates
- COVID-19 information for OOHC service providers
- Administration of the Reportable Conduct Scheme during the COVID-19 pandemic
- FAQs: Working with carers, children and young people
- COVID-19 provisional authorisation of staff to provide foster care
- COVID-19 casework considerations
- COVID-19 changes to WWCC proof of identity requirements for authorised carers and adult household members
COVID-19 Response For Residential OOHC Service Providers
- ACWA, in collaboration with the Australian Services Union, DCJ and the residential out-of-home care sector, has developed this emergency framework to enable residential care providers to safely continue delivering essential services to vulnerable children and young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Customised COVID-19 Guidelines and related training and support material, are also now available to assist staff working in residential care settings.
Information for Community Service Organisations
- The NCOSS COVID-19 Community Sector Resource contains a comprehensive range of information, including work, health and safety guidance, planning for service continuity and links to legal advice.
- NGOs are being encouraged to register for a new Emergency Support Volunteering website that links organisations in need of support during the coronavirus with volunteers in their local communities.
- This Workplace Consultation: Best Practice resource provides organisations valuable guidance for implementing effective consultation processes around workplace change. This tool has been developed by ACWA in collaboration with our member agencies, the Children In Care Collective, and the Australian Services Union (ASU) – and with the assistance of the Fair Work Commission.
Support for Parents and Carers
- My Forever Family NSW is running regular Online Lounge Room sessions for carers as an alternative to face to face training and peer support. Click here for upcoming sessions and topics.
- Reach Out Parents offers support for parents and carers of teenagers, including parents/carers online discussion forums and a one-on-one online and telephone support program.
- The Raising Children’s Network has established this COVID-19 family guide for parents and carers.
- One Another is a new online platform that connects people who are feeling vulnerable to volunteers in their local community.
Courts and Legal
- The Family Court of Australia has issued this statement on parenting orders and COVID-19.
- Read the latest announcements from the NSW Children’s Court on changes to sitting arrangements.
- Redfern Legal Centre has developed this Public Health Laws and Police Powers fact sheet outlining new police powers for enforcing new social distancing and isolation orders. Useful for young people and youth workers.
- View this range of legal resources, developed by Justice Connect, for people and community organisations affected by the pandemic.
- Visit Legal Aid NSW’s website for COVID-19 related legal information for community members and organisations.
- The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia have established a court list to deal exclusively with urgent parenting-related disputes that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the announcement.
- Marrickville Legal Centre answers common queries relating to co-parenting arrangements during the COVID-19 crisis.
If you have any COVID-related feedback or matters that you would like ACWA to address, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also wish to visit our Resources Clearinghouse for a selection of practical resources which may prove useful in your work with children, young people and families during the COVID-19 crisis.
Read about the specific work that ACWA is undertaking to support the sector during the pandemic in our below updates: