All students entering OOHC are required to have an individual education plan prepared for them within 30 school days of entering care, which is reviewed annually by the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) and the responsible caseworker.
OOHC Coordinators have been integral in the implementation of educational support planning for children and young people in OOHC, assisting regions to build the capacity of schools to better support students in care.
In March 2011, DEC and Community Services signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in relation to the provision of educational services for children and young people in OOHC. The MOU provides an agreed framework for a coordinated approach by the two agencies in responding to the needs of children and young people in OOHC who are enrolled in, or applying to enrol in, a NSW Government school, including a preschool.
Students moving between regions and schools are now benefiting from an education plan being developed and the schools having increased knowledge and information about the needs of students before they enrol, or when they are newly enrolled in a school.
Supporting children and young people in non-government preschools and schools
The government, Catholic, and independent education sectors have been working together to examine appropriate measures to support children and young people in OOHC that attend non-government schools.
Regular meetings have provided an ongoing forum to share information and jointly reflect on processes and procedures developed in support of the principles of Keep Them Safe, such as the monitoring and evaluation of interventions within agencies.
Decisions about the measures by other education sectors to support children and young people are made independently by those sectors. Education and non-government school sectors will continue to collaborate and explore ways to support students in OOHC in non-government schools in 2012.
More details on OOHC Coordinators and supporting the education needs of children and young people in OOHC are available in the Keep Them Safe Annual Report 2010-11.