Communities and Justice

List: Frameworks, Standards, Guidelines and Assessment Tools

Practice Frameworks 

NSW Practice Framework

A framework that supports and guides the way in which DCJ work with, and makes decisions about children, their parents and families/kin.

NSW Quality Assurance Framework

A framework that provides caseworkers with access to reliable and comprehensive outcomes information relating to children in statutory OOHC.

Funded Contract Management (FCM) Framework

Describes the way in which DCJ and PSP providers manage their contractual relationship. It ensures that governance, financial management and service delivery mechanisms are in place so that services are delivered effectively and efficiently.

Human Services Outcomes Framework

Provides a common set of population-level wellbeing outcomes and indicators for NSW government and non-government agencies.

NSW Therapeutic Care Framework

A framework that guides service provision and works towards improving outcomes for children in statutory OOHC.

Standards, Policies and Instruments

Key expectations of DCJ practitioners and leaders in their work with children, their parents and families/kin.

NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care

Standards which support a dual accreditation process for agencies providing statutory OOHC and adoption services.

Caring for Kids

A carer guide with basic information about which decisions are made by the carer and which need to be made by the agency.

NSW Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care

Outlines the general rights and responsibilities of every child in OOHC. These rights reflect the rights of all children.

The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 requires that these rights are supported by carers and caseworkers.

NDIS interface

Guidelines for managing the interface between Early Intervention, Child Protection and OOHC with the NDIS

DCJ Assessment Tools



Mandatory Reported Guide (MRG)

The NSW Mandatory Reporter Guide (MRG) is a Structured Decision Making (®SDM) tool intended to complement mandatory reporters' professional judgment and critical thinking.

Screening and Response Priority Tool (SCRPT)

Screening and Response Priority is a Structured Decision Making (®SDM) tool used by DCJ Child Protection Helpline to assess child protection concerns regarding risk of significant harm

Safety and Risk Assessment (SARA) tools

The SARA tools are Structured Decision Making (®SDM) tools that helps casework practitioners in assessing safety and risk in relation to children, their parents and families/kin they visit. There are three components to the SARA tool that casework practitioners complete at specific periods in time for a family: a safety assessment, risk assessment and risk reassessment.

Restoration Assessment tool

Restoration Assessment tool is a Structured Decision Making (®SDM) tool that supports decision making regarding restoration of children in OOHC.

Child Assessment Tool (CAT)

The CAT is a tool used for all new out-of-home care (OOHC) placements, children re-entering care, placement changes and transition of carers and the children in their care from DCJ to agencies. The Child Assessment Tool (CAT) is based on the Cleveland Child Assessment Tool customised for NSW in partnership the developers. The tool improves transparency and consistency of placement decisions and focuses on the needs of the child. It has been designed to identify the most appropriate level of care for a child, based on assessment of their behaviour, and health and development needs.

Alternate  Assessment

Alternate Assessment is the assessment framework the Department of Communities and Justice uses when assessing a child protection report concerning the care and supervision of a child in OOHC. Departmental practitioners use Alternate Assessment to assess the child’s immediate safety, and likelihood of future risk, if no protective action is taken. The outcome is a professional opinion about safety, risk and harm that inform a decision about a child’s need for care and protection and subsequent case planning.

Last updated:

08 Feb 2023