MEDIA RELEASE

Uniting Church in Australia Synod of NSW and the ACT to conduct independent inquiry of Out-of-Home Care services

Friday 2 September 2016

The Uniting Church in Australia Synod of NSW and the ACT will conduct a full and independent review into the operations of the Church’s Out-of-Home Care (OOHC) services.

Through these services, the Church cares for some of the most vulnerable children and young people in our community. The independent review has been commissioned to review current systems and processes in our OOHC services to ensure that all children and young people are safe in our care.

“It is clear that there are significant challenges with the current system of Out of Home Care in this State. We are part of this system and must take action to protect the most vulnerable children and young people in our community,” said Rev. Dr Andrew Williams, General Secretary of The Uniting Church in Australia Synod of NSW and the ACT.

Christine Nixon APM, the former Victorian Police Chief Commissioner, has been appointed to oversee and govern the review. It will assess the quality of OOHC services of the Uniting Church in NSW and ACT, including models, processes, governance and risk mitigation.

The review will also make recommendations around viability, improvement and alternative options to the current model of OHCC services.

Christine Nixon will be supported by Conjoint Professor Martin Cohen, School of Medicine and Public Health (Newcastle University) who will examine how staff can be better equipped to work with vulnerable children and young people.

Any recommendations relevant to addressing the existing systemic issues will be shared with the community including Government and other OOHC service providers to improve outcomes for all children in state care.

Media contact: Lisa Sampson, The Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and the ACT (M 0414 947000) E: lisas@nsw.uca.org.au