Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment


The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) has been amended to, among other things, impose mandatory reporting requirements on certain education and care services in relation to children at risk.

This training brochure applies to organisations that subscribe to the NSW – Minors and Children and NSW – Out-of-Home Care modules.

Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment Act 2018 No.81 (NSW)

The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment Act 2018 No.81 (NSW) (the Amending Act) commenced on 4 February 2019 and has amended the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) (the Act).

Meaning of children’s services for the purposes of mandatory reporting

Section 27 of the Act sets out mandatory reporting requirements in relation to children at risk. The provision is specified to apply to (among other persons) persons who in paid employment deliver “children’s services”. The Amending Act inserts the following definition of children’s services into the provision; namely:

  • an education and care service within the meaning of the Children (Education and Care Services) National Law (NSW); and/or
  • a State regulated education service within the meaning of the Children (Education and Care Services) Supplementary Provisions Act 2011 (NSW).

Increased penalty for neglect

Section 228 of the Act makes it an offence for a person to fail to provide a child or young person in their care with adequate food, clothing or other essential facilities and resources. The maximum penalty for commission of the offence has been increased from 200 penalty units to 200 penalty units, or 2 years imprisonment, or both.

Changes to out-of-home care

Section 153 of the Act has been repealed and replaced in order to limit the Secretary’s involvement in out-of-home care arrangements (known as supported out-of-home care) to care arrangements that are provided by virtue of a court order. Section 155 of the Act, which sets out obligations on “designated agencies” in relation to review of supported out-of-home care arrangements and assessment reports completed by “authorised carers”, has been refocused in accordance with the changes to section 153, including changes to the details that a review of a supported out-of-home care arrangement by a “designated agency” must have regard to.

Authorised carer means a person authorised by a designated agency to provide out-of-home care.

Designated agency means:

  • a Public Service agency (or part of a Public Service agency); or
  • an organisation (or part of an organisation) that arranges the provision of out-of-home care;

if the agency or organisation is accredited for the time being in accordance with the regulations.

Conclusion

Subscribers that provide services to children should consider the applicability of section 27 of the Act to their organisation with reference to the new definition of children’s services under the Act and should have controls in place to ensure that children in their care are not neglected. Please see the NSW – Minors and Children module for further details.

Subscribers involved in out-of-home care should be aware of the changes to the scope of, and reporting requirements for, supported out-of-home care arrangements. Please see the NSW – Out-of-Home Care module for further details.

Contact

For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:

Phone: 1300 862 667

Email: info@lawcompliance.com.au