Quality Assurance Program

Territory Families in partnership with service providers are working to transform out of home care making sure that children who are unable to live with their family are cared for in safe, culturally secure, trauma-informed, therapeutic environments.

The Quality Assurance Program (the program) aims to improve outcomes for children in out of home care and is a key reform in creating generational change for children and families in the Northern Territory. We will achieve this in partnership with service providers through ongoing assessment, learning and improvement.

Currently this program is limited to purchased home based care and residential care services, though may be further developed to include all out of home care placements in the future.

The program is based on the current National Standards for Children in Out of Home Care and the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations and will guide both Territory Families and service providers in recognising strengths and areas for further development over the next few years. These were developed through the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 and endorsed through COAG.

The Territory Families Quality Assurance Framework provides a shared understanding, and purpose for improvement.  Most importantly the Standards and guiding principles place the child at the centre of what we do and keep our focus on their rights, safety, needs and wellbeing.

The Program 2019

The Quality Assurance Program for 2019 consists of four key phases:

  • Service providers submit their Recommendation Action Plan (RAP) that address recommendations made in their Quality Assurance Program report 2018.
  • Territory Families Accreditation and Service Standards team meet with service providers’ Northern Territory Head Office to discuss the further requirements of the program, their RAP and any areas of exception they have noted from their 2018 self-assessment.
  • Territory Families Accreditation and Service Standard Team will undertake a review of internal information about service providers and children in their care.
  • Territory Families Accreditation and Service Standards Team will commence a rolling schedule of site visits to residential care sites and places of care and talk with children’s carers.

Territory Families Accreditation and Service Standards team will be visiting all residential care sites and a percentage of Purchased Home Based Care sites across the Northern Territory.

Transforming Out-of-Home Care in the Northern Territory

Territory Families is transforming out-of-home-care in the Northern Territory that will provide a system and services that are focused on and responsive to the needs of children and young people in care, their families and carers. The key elements of the new out-of-home care model include:

  • enhancing collaboration with families and young people
  • partnering with community and government
  • establishing supportive systems to deliver out-of-home-care services
  • prioritising family/kin care-givers and improved support for all family carers
  • services that are tailored to meet the needs of children and young people incare
  • therapeutic services that are designed to achieve positive outcomes for children and young people in care.

Visit the Transforming Out-of-Home Care in the Northern Territory for more detailed information on the current reforms.

The National Standards for out-of-home care

The National Standards were developed in consultation with the Commonwealth, and all States and Territories to ensure consistent, best practice out-of-home care to all children regardless of where they live.

The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations

The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations are informed by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse who identified ten key elements to the create organisational cultures to implement strategies and take action to promote child wellbeing and prevent harm to children and young people.

Charter of Rights for children and young people in care in the Northern Territory.

Charter of Rights for children and young people in care in the Northern Territory ensures that the rights of children in out of home care are given special attention and promoted.

Additional Resources

Additional information and resources of interest can be found on the following web sites:

Further information & assistance

For more information on the Quality Assurance Program, please contact the Accreditation and Service Standard Team:

E: TF.ServiceStandards@nt.gov.au

P: (08) 892 44307

Last updated: 21 May 2019

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