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Care agencies

Fundamental to the work we do are the partnerships we have with agencies that provide care for children and young people. The new laws have appropriately strengthened requirements and standards for out-of-home care providers to ensure the continued safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people.

Psychological assessment 

Under the new laws, any person employed in a children’s residential facility established or licensed by the Department for Child Protection must undergo a psychological assessment, of a kind determined by the department. 

What does the psychological assessment involve?

The assessment process involves psychometric assessment of the person as well as a one on one interview with a registered psychologist that has at least five years of relevant experience. 

Upon completion of the assessment, the psychologist will produce a statement regarding the suitability of the person to be employed within a children’s residential facility.
 

Who can provide assessments?

Providers approved by the Department for Child Protection can deliver psychological assessments. A list of currently approved providers is available below: 

Approved providerContact detailsApproval number
PsychCheck Pty Ltd
ABN: 81612838472
1300 56 56 30PAAN001PsychCheck

To access and negotiate terms for the provision of psychological assessment services, please contact one of these approved providers.

Organisations wishing to provide psychological assessment services may may apply to become an approved provider as outlined below.
 

How to apply for approval

The approval process aims to ensure consistency in the standard of assessments.

As a provider organisation, you need to demonstrate how you will satisfy the standard of assessment, and ensure cultural considerations are embedded into your process. 

Refer to the guidance below - the DCP Psychological Assessment Team can also provide assistance in preparing applications as required. The following process flowcharts provide additional detail:

Psychological service providers

Psychological service providers can apply to be an approved psychological assessment provider by completing the Psychological assessment service providers application for approval form (DOC 119KB)

The form must be submitted to DCPPsychologicalAssessments@sa.gov.au.

Licensed residential care facilities

Operators of licensed residential care facilities can apply to have their psychological assessment approach approved by completing the Licensed residential care facilities application form (DOC 139KB) and submitting to DCPPsychologicalAssessments@sa.gov.au.

Operators will need to provide evidence of their assessment processes, as well as copies of their organisation's intended forms. The application form contains examples to help with this. 

Where seeking to use the services of a psychological assessment provider who has not been previously approved by the DCP Chief Executive, an application from the proposed psychological service provider for consideration by the Chief Executive will be required.

Organisations providing staff to residential care facilities 

Organisations that provide staff to residential care facilities can apply to have their psychological assessment approach approved by completing the Contract staff provider application form (DOC 112KB) and submitting to DCPPsychologicalAssessments@sa.gov.au.

Organisations will need to provide evidence of their assessment processes, as well as copies of their organisation's intended forms. The application form contains examples to help with this.

Where seeking to use the services of a psychological assessment provider who has not been previously approved by the DCP Chief Executive, an application from the proposed psychological service provider for consideration by the Chief Executive will be required.
 

Are employees informed of their assessment outcome?

Employees and prospective employees should be advised of the outcome of their assessment, as this will have sector-wide application and implications.

The Department for Child Protection will receive information about each person assessed, including assessment outcomes,  and may share the assessment outcome in connection with any employment (including volunteer positions), or application for employment, subject to these laws.

When establishing procedures for notifying existing and prospective employees of their assessment outcomes, you should consider having appropriate support strategies in place. If a person is assessed as unsuitable to be employed in a children's residential facility, they may not be able to undergo a further psychological assessment for employment in a children's residential facility for at least 12 months.
 

How will psychological assessments be financed?

The Department for Child Protection will work with each licensed children's residential facility provider to assess the impact of any costs associated with the introduction of psychological assessment requirements.

As a contracted provider, you will be asked to report on any psychological assessment costs incurred as part of the existing quarterly contract acquittal processes. This cost will be managed on a case by case basis, given the differing circumstances surrounding each provider's contractual arrangements with the Department.

Key dates

Persons employed in Children's Residential Facilities operated by the Department for Child Protection

Section 110A of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 commenced on 26 February 2018

The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 provide a lead-in period for persons who are not an employee of the Department for Child Protection, subject to conditions. 

This lead-in period will expire on 6 September 2019

Persons employed in licensed Children's Residential Facilities

Section 107 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 commenced on 22 October 2018

The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 provide a lead-in period, subject to conditions. 

This lead-in period will expire on 22 April 2020

Contact

For more information or support with the psychological assessment process and protocol, contact the Psychological Assessments Team

Phone: 8226 4213
Email: DCPPsychologicalAssessments@sa.gov.au

Carer approvals 

In order for carers to provide a child safe environment, the new laws stipulate that all carers providing out of home care must meet approval requirements. Carer approvals relate to agencies and people providing out-of-home care, such as:   

  • foster carers  (application through their foster care agency)
  • kinship carers (application through the Department for Child Protection)
  • specific child only carers (application through Department for Child Protection)
  • family day care (guardianship) carers (application through Department for Education)
  • agency carers (application through employing commercial care agency).

The Carer Approval and Review Unit determine final approval for carers including ensuring regular review and assessment of all agencies on an ongoing basis. 

Licensed care facilities

Operators of children’s residential facilities must hold a license granted by the Department for Child Protection. The license may be valid for up to 3 years and subject to conditions as stipulated by the department. The license will specify the maximum number of children that may reside in the licensed facility at any time, which will not be more than 12. 

In addition, the new laws also require directors of foster care agencies to have a child-related employment screening to work within the industry providing care and support for children and young people. 

The Act provides for more stringent record keeping requirements. The Department for Child Protection has powers in relation to inspection of licensed facilities with the Department for Child Protection having the right to cancel a license should the operator appear to no longer be meeting the necessary requirements.