ACWA Set to Trial New Step by Step Parent Assessment Tool for Restoration

The implementation of the Permanency Support Program (PSP) is one of the most significant changes made to the NSW child protection and out-of-home care (OOHC) systems in decades. For the sector, this new program brings with it substantial reforms to child protection and out-of-home care practice and culture.

Under the PSP, NGOs are now required to work towards permanency from the time a child enters care. Restoration has now become a critical part of NGO practice. For many agencies, restoration represents a new area of work.

To support agencies to make good parent capacity assessments ACWA has developed a new assessment tool, which is about to undergo a four-month trial.

Assessing parents for the return home of their children is challenging for OOHC agencies, particularly for those without existing family preservation teams. Parent assessors must have knowledge about good restoration practice in addition to good assessment skills.

ACWA’s Step by Step Parent Assessment Tool includes:

  1. An assessed self-paced distance learning kit Foundations for Good Restoration Practice to ensure sufficient knowledge of research and good practice that covers:
  • Preparatory casework
  • The legal context and processes
  • Key messages from research to guide and strengthen the assessment
  • How to work effectively with parents
  • Culturally appropriate practice
  • Trauma informed practice.
  1. A manual to guide staff in gathering sufficient information about the children, their parents and networks to make assessments about whether it is safe for the children to return home and, if so, what changes the parents must make before this can happen. The manual also provides guidance on how to:
  • Prepare for an assessment
  • Deliver information to parents on restoration and the effects of trauma and abuse
  • Evaluate family time
  • Reviewing parents progress against their goals
  • Returning children home.
  1. Report Templates
  • Change of case plan goal to restoration
  • Full Parent (Capacity) Assessment with recommendations.

The trial of this new tool will run from December 2018 to April 2019.

ACWA will be hosting a two-hour briefing for managers by webinar on Wednesday, November 28 from 12pm-2pm. You can enrol here.

CCWT will be providing training on the finished Parent Assessment Tool from July 2019 onwards. Our Parent Assessment Step by Step web page has all the dates and details. Training will be provided for both inexperienced and experienced assessors.

For more information contact Jo Roach: or (02) 9281 8822.