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Caring for Children
Owned and managed by Department of Communities & Justice

Case planning and review

Case planning is about identifying the decisions and actions required to achieve stability and security for the child or young person in care. Wherever possible the child or young person, their family and their carer, as well as their caseworker, are all involved in the development of the Case Plan.

Carer reviews and authorisation decisions

All carers are reviewed at the end of their first year of authorisation. This includes carers with non-government agencies as well as those with Communities and Justice (DCJ). Reviews take place annually unless one is needed sooner because of changed circumstances, for example, if a placement is at risk of breaking down.

The annual carer review involves meeting with your caseworker to:

  • provide each other with feedback
  • discuss any difficulties or issues that need resolving
  • ensure that you are complying with the Code of Conduct
  • identify your training and support needs
  • review your previous Carer Development Plan
  • update your Carer Development Plan and set a date for the next review
  • check the current circumstances of your household to ensure nothing has changed to affect your authorisation.

The five-year carer authorisation review

An additional and more comprehensive review of the authorisation for DCJ carers is done every five years. As part of the review, you and any member of your household over 18 years of age must have a NSW criminal record check. Additional probity checks that apply only to you are a check of the DCJ Key Information and Directory System (KiDS) records and a medical review.

What happens when a carer’s authorisation is cancelled?

If an agency decides to cancel your carer authorisation, you must be advised in writing of the reasons for that decision, and your options for appeal.

Your authorisation might be cancelled if:

  • you have decided to stop being a carer
  • a medical review indicates you don’t have the capacity to provide adequate care
  • you have breached the Code of Conduct for authorised carers
  • an investigation into an allegation of abuse has recommended cancellation
  • a review of your home has found it isn’t a safe and healthy environment for the child or young person.

Appeals and reviews of authorisation decisions

If you want to appeal the decision to cancel your authorisation, you can ask for an internal review.

If you’re still not satisfied, you can apply for an independent review with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)
1300 006 228

Your caseworker will record any changes to your authorisation status in the NSW Carers Register.

If you are a DCJ carer you can apply to DCJ for financial help towards the cost of an appeal to NCAT. You can read more about it in the Legal Assistance for Carers fact sheet.