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Yes, family preservation services are essential services and it is important they continue.

Many of our clients are already experiencing a range of hardships and whilst in isolation, families, they may find themselves without their regular supports.

We understand you may need to adapt the way you deliver some services, such as group activities like Playgroups, in order to follow the NSW Government’s rules on social distancing. You can discuss this further with your DCJ Contract Manager.

For further information, please read our advice on delivering essential services.

Child protection casework is considered an essential service and DCJ caseworkers continue to work with children, young people and families, particularly those who are considered high risk.

Casework practice advice has been developed for DCJ caseworkers to provide guidance in their current work.

Children, parents and families will rely on you to help them access and navigate supports and systems available to them.

As some services limit face-to-face support or change the way they deliver services, you have a significant role to play in helping families navigate these changes so they get the help they need.

All organisations should develop and implement COVID-19 Risk Assessment Protocols that include practices to support the safety of children, families and workers.

Please see examples of measures already implemented by service providers to support your organisation’s risk assessment management.

Advice on how to protect yourself and others is found on the NSW Government’s website and there is health advice specific to service providers on the DCJ website.

Yes, you can spend brokerage funds to purchase data or technology to assist families to stay connected and receive support from your service.

This may include purchasing data and/or devices (iPad/mobile phones) to support a range of communication with families including:

  • telephone and video calls and meetings
  • social media
  • group texts
  • audio messages
  • group communication apps

Advice about the range of technology options available to support your work with families is coming soon.

There is a nation-wide shortage of PPE and hand sanitisers at this time.

The NSW Government is working to address this concern as a priority and will continue to provide the latest updates including the availability of PPE.

Families may need additional support at this time as pressures such as employment concerns and staying home for extended periods of time affect families.

You can follow the usual steps regarding applying for an extension by contacting your contract manager for approval.

Services may consider a range of options to support vulnerable staff, including working from home and redeployment to other service functions or programs. For further advice, check the most recent health advice on this risk group.

We hope that if there are identified needs across any area of the sector, everyone can all work together to support vulnerable children and families. We will continue to work collaboratively with providers to identify and respond in an agile and flexible way to the most urgent community needs as they emerge.

We understand you may also need to adapt the way you deliver some services. This might also mean redeploying of staff to other areas of your own organisation. You can discuss this further with your DCJ Contract Manager.

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Last updated: 27 Apr 2020