ACWA is continuing to make headway in our efforts to address the unacceptable levels of educational disadvantage experienced by children and young people living in out-of-home care in NSW, under our ‘Let Them Learn’ advocacy initiative.
Improving the educational outcomes of children and young people in out-of-home care remains an important priority for ACWA. The long-term aim of our ‘Let Them Learn’ project is to generate system wide change to ensure this vulnerable cohort has access to appropriate education that will prepare them for life.
As a key starting point, ACWA hosted a Roundtable in October of high level decision makers, stakeholders and experts from across government and non-government to share information, identify gaps or barriers in current practices and to help determine a way forward to ensure every child in care in NSW has access to high quality education tailored to their needs. A summary report prepared by Roundtable sponsor PwC provides a valuable overview of the presentations and panel discussions from the day, and also outlines six areas that were identified for policy change and targeted reform (pp. 18-20).
Quarterly Intersectorial Meeting
In the wake of this Roundtable ACWA has established a quarterly meeting of representatives from the NSW Department of Education, the Department of Family and Community Services, other departments directly involved in providing services for children and young people in out-of-home care, and non-government stakeholders. ACWA believes a collaborative intersectorial approach such as this will assist in addressing issues related to this area of policy in a coordinated and holistic way.
Virtual Agency Working Group
ACWA intends to use the quarterly intersectorial meeting as a high level platform to raise frontline concerns of our member agencies about the difficulties and barriers this cohort of children and young people are experiencing when it comes to accessing appropriate education services. We are establishing a virtual working group in order to facilitate discussion and gather critical agency feedback on an ongoing basis. If you would like to be part of this virtual working group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We have created a short, three-minute survey to assist us in developing a clearer understanding of the range of specialist supports non-government agencies provide. If you work for a non-government OOHC provider, please take this quick survey to tell us about the educational supports you provide for children and young people in OOHC.