Please note that while a program (the Permanency Support Program) that is currently specific to
NSW is present within this case, all the other Australian states are paying careful attention to the
new model of service delivery that it represents. The drivers of this model apply Australia-wide,
and it is not unlikely that similar models will be adopted in other states in future.
Sylvia is an experienced case-worker in an out-of-home care (OOHC) agency in a NSW regional
area. The agency is working under the NSW Government’s Permanency Support Program. This
program was developed in response to the serious consequences for children who ‘drift’ in
care over many years, and has as a goal to place children in a permanent home within 2 years
It is April, 2020. Sylvia is working with a family where both parents had experienced long-term
and complex trauma prior to their interaction with the child protection system. Genuine
attempts at family preservation were made, with intensive support received, but concern for
the child’s safety remained. As a result, the parents agreed to Laney, the only child in their
family, who was then aged 3 years and 1 month, being placed in OOHC in April 2019. Since she
was placed in OOHC, Laney has been cared for by a stable foster carer for 1 year to date.
Her parents have scheduled contact with Laney and they very much want her restored to their
care. However, due to broader resourcing issues within the social welfare and health systems,
they are having difficulty accessing the services and supports they need to provide a safe
home for her. Sylvia has done her best to assist Laney’s parents in seeking the services and
supports that they need, but the systemic under-resourcing is well beyond her control. Sylvia
does not believe that Laney will be able to be restored to her parents’ care within the 2 year
timeframe but the parents are consistently motivated and Sylvia feels that over a longer
period, restoration may be possible.
The Permanency Support Program policy places Sylvia’s agency under pressure to meet the 2
year permanency time-frame and her manager is strongly committed to this timeframe. Sylvia
has to make a choice, knowing the impact on children in the OOHC system, as well as knowing
the likely impact of the further trauma of permanently losing the care of their child on the
parents’ own lives.
Charles Sturt University Subject Outline
SWK423 202060 W D
Version 1 – Published 29 June 2020
Page 9 of 23
Should Sylvia make the case to her manager that in this case, Laney should spend a longer
period in foster care in order to hold open for all family members the possibility of restoration?
Or should Sylvia go ahead with seeking alternative permanency options for Laney by April
2021, within the prescribed time-frame of 2 years from Laney’s entry into the OOHC system?
You may structure your assignment in the way that works best for what you have to say – but
each of the elements of the task below must be covered:
principles of service
application of the theories and principles will be supported by your understanding of
relevant details of the Permanency Support Program (PSP), including the drivers for it,
and the implications of its stronger and weaker points for this practice case.
assignment must make clear which choice you believe is the best one in this situation,
and why you believe this is the best choice, all things considered.)
Your assignment must be well presented and appropriately researched. A minimum of 8
reliable sources must be cited, and these must include both SWK423 textbooks, module 1, and
at least one prescribed reading. A reference list must be included and both the citations and
reference list must be formatted following APA7 style.