The Commissioner for Children and Young People in Tasmania undertakes independent, external monitoring of out-of-home care in Tasmania. This monitoring focuses on systemic issues in institutional and administrative practices – it is distinct from complaint handling and individual advocacy. Independent, external monitoring of OOHC at a systemic level is an important oversight function.

The Monitoring Program

In April 2018, Interim Commissioner Clements released Laying the Foundations: A Conceptual Plan for Independent Monitoring of Out-of-Home Care in Tasmania. The Conceptual Plan is available by clicking on the image below.

 

Seven principles guide the design and implementation of the Monitoring Program:

  • child centred
  • useful and contributory
  • relevant
  • robust
  • responsive and flexible
  • feasible
  • ethical


The principle of being child centred is foundational to the program: it emphasises the vital importance of taking a child rights approach to monitoring, such that children and young people in out-of-home care are viewed as individuals with their own rights and agency.

The Components of the Monitoring Program

There are three components of the Monitoring Program. These different yet interrelated elements are as follows:

  • Part A: Regular Data Monitoring – This monitoring entails the regular, routine flow of a discrete set of information to the Interim Commissioner on specified matters relevant to OOHC. Work is underway to identify appropriate data and indicators
  • Part B: Thematic Monitoring – Each year, thematic monitoring activities will focus on a different theme, based on the six domains specified in the ARACY ‘Nest’ and the Tasmanian Child and Youth Wellbeing Framework. These themes, or domains, are: being loved and safe, being healthy, participating, having material basics, learning, and having a positive sense of culture and identity. In each year of the Monitoring Program, a different domain will be determined as the focus for Thematic Monitoring activities.
  • Part C: Responsive Investigations – Whether utilising ‘own motion’ investigatory powers or undertaking an investigation at the request of the Minister, the Commissioner may dedicate resources to undertake a targeted, in-depth investigation of a particular issue in OOHC in Tasmania.

 

The Monitoring Program for 2018-19

The Out-of-Home Care Monitoring Plan 2018-19 is available by clicking on the image below.

 

 

The Monitoring Plan provides detail about the focus and implementation of the Commissioner’s Monitoring Program for 2018-19. In 2018-19, the focus of Thematic Monitoring is: ‘being healthy’. Improving the health outcomes of children and young people in OOHC is a significant contributor to their overall wellbeing.

In addition to an annual focus, thematic monitoring activities focus on the important cross-cutting issue of ‘children and young people’s participation’. In the Monitoring Program, ‘participation’ is understood as referring to children and young people having their voices heard and being actively engaged in decision making processes around matters that affect their lives or are important to them.

Further detail about the monitoring framework and the monitoring questions for the Monitoring Program can be found in the Monitoring Plan.

Current activities under the Monitoring Program

In 2018, the Interim Commissioner engaged CREATE Foundation (Tas) to assist with the development of a resource to inform children and young people in out-of-home care about the Commissioner’s Monitoring Program and explain the principles and focus of the Monitoring Program in 2018-19.

The brochure is available by clicking on the image below.

 

 

 

In July 2018, the Interim Commissioner commenced formal monitoring activities under the program. To date, he has initiated two monitoring projects which are currently underway.

  • Part A: Regular Data Monitoring – In September 2018, the Interim Commissioner sent out a questionnaire to all out-of-home care service providers in Tasmania (n = 11), to gather data to inform a profile of the sector in this state. As part of this monitoring, the Interim Commissioner conducted formal monitoring visits to each of the out-of-home care service providers during September and October 2018.
  • Part B: Thematic Monitoring – The Interim Commissioner distributed a Call for Submissions to stakeholders in Tasmania on health services, preventative health measures and health outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care in Tasmania. Written submissions are due to the Interim Commissioner on 14 November 2018.

 

Contact the office to find out more about the Out-of-Home Care Monitoring Program

Email:​childcomm@childcomm.tas.gov.au

Telephone:​ (03) 6166 1366