We advocate for the interests, rights and wellbeing of children and young people

The State of Care 2015 report is the first annual summary from our independent monitoring of Child, Youth and Family’s policies, practices and services. It includes feedback from children and young people about their experiences in the system.

While the 2015 report found pockets of excellent practice within Child, Youth and Family, it also highlights inconsistencies in the care and services provided to children. It also reveals a lack of accessible information about how well children are doing while in care and their outcomes once they have left the system.

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At a glance

About the report

In late 2013 we refreshed our approach to monitoring CYF and developed a new framework (see sidebar on this page). We wanted to ensure that our monitoring was as effective as possible.

As part of this new approach, we decided to produce an annual public report, to increase transparency about our work and the work of Child, Youth and Family.  

This is our first public State of Care report. It aggregates the findings of the monitoring reports we completed for a sample of sites and residences between January 2014 and June 2015, and summarises the voices of children in care who shared their views with us during that time.

It looks at how well children in care are doing according to available data on measures of wellbeing, including health, education and justice outcomes, and draws on what we learned from our engagement with stakeholders and wider child advocacy work in the period.

On the basis of these findings, it makes recommendations to improve CYF’s performance.

We will publish another State of Care report in 2016.

What we learnt from our monitoring - summary

  • Issues of workforce capacity and capability mean practice is not consistent
  • Child, Youth and Family is not sufficiently child-centred
  • Child Youth and Family do not know if children are better off as a result of their intervention as they are not measuring outcomes reliably, and
  • Alongside children’s immediate safety, CYF needs to focus on improving their outcomes.

What needs to change - summary

  1. Set clear expectations about CYF’s core purpose and the outcomes it needs to achieve;
  2. Ensure CYF is fully child-centred in all its activities;
  3. Invest more in on-going support for children in all types of care placements;
  4. Address capacity and capability issues across the CYF workforce;
  5. Improve cultural capability across the organisation;
  6. Collect and analyse relevant data to drive improved outcomes for children; and
  7. Set clear expectations for other state agencies responsible for improving the outcomes of children in care.

Voices of children

As part of our monitoring we talk to children and young people in the care system about their experiences. The State of Care 2015 report reflects the views, opinions and concerns of these young people.

More information is available in Part 2 of the report.

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Our new monitoring framework

Since our inception, we have monitored the policies and practices of CYF.

We are mandated to carry out this function under the Children's Commissioner's Act.

In late 2013 we developed a new framework. We wanted to ensure that our monitoring was as effective as possible within the constraints of our mandate and our limited resources.

The new framework  aims to support a continuous learning culture in CYF, and encourages the sharing and implementation of best practice across the organisation.

In developing our new framework, we agreed what constitutes good practice with CYF, so when we engage with staff on our visits, and give feedback on their performance, we are working from a shared understanding of what best practice looks like.

The evaluative rubric for our revised monitoring framework is available in the box below.

Read the Monitoring Framework