Guidelines: Residential Care Settings for Young People in OOHC & COVID-19


ACWA, in collaboration with the Department of Communities and Justice and Rebbeck Consulting, has developed detailed Guidelines for services providing residential out-of-home care for young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These Guidelines aim to provide practical guidance to service providers on managing infectious disease in residential out-of-home care settings to ensure that public health advice is communicated clearly, and the safety of staff and children young people is effectively managed.

The material explores how to mitigate the likely risks and issues facing the wider population of children and young people in staffed residential care homes, and in particular the following three cohorts:

  • Children and young people with a disability
  • Children and young people with high behavioural needs
  • (Therapeutic) Supported Independent Living – SIL and TSIL

The Guidelines bring together a broad range of information sources into one document to support providers to develop and/or further refine their service continuity planning and responses. They are not intended to replace business continuity plans that service providers may already have in place to respond to their specific circumstances. This document will evolve as new health advice emerges and will be updated as soon as new information becomes available.

Training and support material

In recognition of the length and complexity of the information contained in these guidelines, ACWA has developed a free online training course (scroll down for registration instructions), together with the following series of fact sheets, to assist frontline staff in residential settings to more easily navigate the guidance:

Fact Sheet 1: COVID-19 Symptoms and Case Definitions
Fact Sheet 2: Response options for COVID-19 scenarios
Fact Sheet 3: Safety precautions for limiting the spread of COVID-19
Fact Sheet 4: Assisting children and young people in residential OOHC to limit the spread of COVID-19
Fact Sheet 5: How to manage a suspected case of COVID-19 in a young person
Fact Sheet 6: How to manage a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a young person
Fact Sheet 7: Additional considerations for children and young people with disability
Fact Sheet 8: Additional considerations for children and young people with high behavioural needs
Fact Sheet 9: Additional considerations for young people in therapeutic supported independent living
Fact Sheet 10: Infection Control Measures for homes
Fact Sheet 11: Appropriate Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Fact Sheet 12: Decision Tree for Management of Symptomatic Young Person

Registration instructions

There are two steps that you need to complete to register for our online course.

Step 1: Use the following link to register your name into the course:

Step 2:  Now that you are registered into the course, you will be able to access the course through this link:

 Your user name is your email address (make sure that it is the same one as the one that you used when registering for the course)

If you haven’t received a password via email after registering for the course, click on 'Forgotten my password' and one will be emailed to you.

The COVID-19 testing eligibility continues to evolve and ACWA recommends that you refer to the NSW Health website for the most up-to-date advice. ACWA will continue to work with DCJ to ensure that the Guidelines and the related training and support material are regularly updated.