Communities and Justice

Critical events

The PSP Critical Events policy (PDF, 894.2 KB) forms part of the PCMP. It supports PSP providers to exercise case responsibility for children who have experienced a critical event. The policy describes separate rules and practice guidance for responding to critical events experienced by children in statutory OOHC, including:

  • serious injury or death of a child or a carer
  • a child is missing (excluding a child who is Away from Placement)
  • a female child becomes pregnant or requests a termination of pregnancy
  • exposure of a child to a registrable person or a person listed on the Child Protection Register in NSW
  • a child intends or is planning to get married before they turn 18
  • a child is alleged to have committed a serious assault or serious criminal offence
  • a planned end of life event regarding a child
  • a reportable allegation or conviction or notifiable finding
  • cancellation or suspension of a designated agency’s accreditation
  • any other event that has occurred that affects a child in OOHC, and results in, or is likely to result in, media attention requiring a media response
  • any event that has or may have an adverse impact on the PSP provider
  • any series issue that may become a matter of public interest or result in a loss of confidence.

The policy supports collaborative case management by PSP providers and the Department in:

  • identifying critical events and complying with reporting obligations
  • ensuring a child’s safety, welfare and wellbeing is central to planning and implementing the provider’s the response to critical events and
  • identifying practice and systematic improvements to prevent future events.

End of Life planning

End of life planning involves discussing and documenting how a child will be supported if they have a life limiting condition, meaning that there is a likelihood that they could die in care. End of life planning should commence as soon as it is known that a child has a life limiting condition.

PSP providers develop an End of Life Plan for a child with a life limiting condition. Providers submit the End of Life Plan to the nominated unit for approval by DCJ Deputy Secretary, Child Protection and Permanency, District and Youth Justice Services. PSP providers implement the End of Life Plan.

If a child is known to have a life limiting condition, prior to case management transfer to a provider, the Department develops the End of Life Plan. Providers implement the plan from the time of case transfer.

After-hours placements, placement breakdowns, and other emergencies

PSP providers have out of hours processes in place to ensure the Department can make contact in the event of an afterhours emergency. This is for events involving a child in their primary case responsibility, or for a child needing an emergency placement.

Events may include when a child protection report is received by the Department’s Child Protection Helpline regarding a foster care placement breakdown, or other significant incident, such as a mental health event.

PSP providers notify the Department of the details of their afterhours contact (or contacts), and immediately advise the Department if there are changes to the contacts. PSP providers submit this information to

PSP providers have contingency plans in place to help address any known issues in a current placement, should they arise, and share this information with the Department. This supports the After-Hours team at the Helpline to provide the best possible service to children and young people in crisis, and work in line with the PSP providers desired plans.

Contingency plans may include providing copies of risk management plans, or plans for alternative placements, in the event of likely placement breakdown. This information is used to provide context and inform decision making by the Department in the event of an after-hour’s emergency.

PSP providers provide information on contingency planning to the Department by creating an ‘alert’ on ChildStory Partner. It is important that an “alert” is maintained and end dated diligently by PSP providers to ensure this information is always current. Additional contingency planning documents in relation to the ‘Alert’, if required, can be uploaded to ChildStory Partner Community as a Note within the Case.  The note category should be ‘Other’ and subject information should include the Alert ID and Alert information..

The Department’s Child Protection Helpline will liaise with the PSP provider’s afterhours contact, if a child protection report is received afterhours and the provider’s involvement is required immediately.

Last updated:

13 Oct 2023