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Educational engagement and outcomes in out-of-home care A shared responsibility Kris Arcaro and Argiri Alisandratos.

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Presentation on theme: "Educational engagement and outcomes in out-of-home care A shared responsibility Kris Arcaro and Argiri Alisandratos."— Presentation transcript:

1 Educational engagement and outcomes in out-of-home care A shared responsibility Kris Arcaro and Argiri Alisandratos

2 Presentation overview 1.Victorian context - Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children’s Inquiry 2.Who are Victoria’s vulnerable children? 3.What is Victoria doing to respond to the educational needs of these children? 4.What are Victoria's future directions?

3 The Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry A one year inquiry into Victoria’s vulnerable children has recently been conducted. The inquiry focused on exploring the gaps in Victoria’s service system including: Prevention and early intervention Quality of family services, statutory child protection and out-of-home care The role of the Children’s Court Community sector organisation functions, capacity and workforce Oversight and transparency A directions paper was released on May 2012 and the government is working to progress work against key action areas. "[The inquiry] is focused not on the past, but the future. It is focused not on individual cases, series as every case it, but on the system and especially focused on solutions" PVVIC Chair's opening statement "[The inquiry] is focused not on the past, but the future. It is focused not on individual cases, series as every case it, but on the system and especially focused on solutions" PVVIC Chair's opening statement

4 What were the findings of the inquiry? Around 65 % of families using government-funded parenting services have 4 or more risk factors, including mental illness, family violence, substance use, being teenage mothers, financial stress, and parental disability. The rate of reporting to statutory child protection services, almost one in four children born in 2011 will be the subject of at least one report before they turn 18. Risk factors associated with child abuse and neglect are concentrated in certain areas of Victoria (correlation with social and economic disadvantage). The total estimated lifetime financial costs of child abuse and neglect for all abused and neglected children that occurred in Victoria for the first time in 2009-10 is between $1.6 and $1.9 billion. The unacceptable and growing over-representation of Aboriginal children in the number of Victorian children who are the subject of reports, substantiations, child protection orders and out-of-home care placements.

5 What were key challenges identified? Need for a broader and more integrated service system for vulnerable families and children; Need for improved and consistent practice quality; Importance of contemporary and appropriate legal processes; Need for an enhanced out-of-home care system; Need to address over-representation of Aboriginal children Need to address major data and research deficiencies on key dimensions and impacts of Victoria’s services for vulnerable children and families.

6 From the inquiry Victoria has five action areas

7 In an average school of 1000 P-12 students… 410 will have a chronic illness (asthma, allergy) 230 will be overweight or obese 150 will experience a mental health diagnosis 150 will have a specific learning disability 150 will experience difficulty reading 100 will be admitted to hospital in any given year 90 will exhibit behavioural problems 83 will have some form of disability, 43 severe 6 or more will have autism spectrum disorder Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2009

8 Children living in families with unhealthy family functioning* approx.115,000 in 2010 Sources: State of Victoria’s Children 2010 (DEECD) and Child Protection Australia 2010-11 (AIHW) Children in families accessing DHS family support services approx. 63,000 in 2010-11 Who are Victoria’s most vulnerable children? Children reported to child protection approx. 41,500 in 2010-11 Children in OOHC approx. 5,700 at any one time (3,067 newly admitted in 2010-11)

9 How many children and young people in Victoria are in OOHC? 4430 school aged children and young people in OOHC 5678 children and young people in OOHC 0- 17 91%9% What type of care are they in?

10 7 In 2003, research found that one in five children born that year would be subject of a report at some stage in their lives By 2011, this number had increased to one in four Real expenditure on provision of out of home care, child protection and intensive family support services has increased over time Is the population of vulnerable children growing? 2011: 2003:

11 9 Monitoring Outcomes for our children and young people in OOHC In Victoria we draw our knowledge of how young people are faring through: School data- Academic achievement Absences Student exit destinations DHS data- Annual snapshot data compiled by DHS in conjunction with DEECD Partnering Agreement Contact Officers

12 What does our data show - school enrolments as at March 2011 89.8% enrolled in formal education Enrolments marginally higher in rural Victoria (87.8 %), with 85.5% Metro). Enrolment higher for primary school-age children (94.3 %), reaching almost 100 % for 9 year olds. Levels of enrolment lower for secondary age students (77.3 %). Majority enrolled in government schools (83.9 %), with just over 10 % in non-government schools. 5.5 % were enrolled in other school settings (i.e. post-secondary settings or education programs provided by non-government organisations). 12

13 Of school-enrolled children (77.9 %) were reported to be attending school full-time. Rates of part-time attendance ranged from 5.9 % of children in standard primary/secondary schools to 51.1 % of children in alternative school settings and 47.9 % of those accessing education via post-secondary settings. A history of having been suspended was reported for 10.3 % while expulsion was reported for 1.0 % Absentee rates for OOHC children in government schools declined from 36 days absent in 2003 to 20.05 days in 2010 13 What does our data show - school attendance as at March 2011

14 86.7% of schools were notified that student was in OOHC 69% of OOHC students had a Student Support Group 62% had an Individual Education Plan DEECD and DHS Partnering Agreement officers in each region 42.3% of schools had only one student in OOHC attending and a further 21.2% had two students 14 What does our data show us as at March 2011

15 What are the educational issues for young people in OOHC?

16 What are we currently doing in Victoria? Victoria’s response to improving outcomes for children and young people in OOHC is based on a shared commitment and strong partnerships. There are a range of specific initiatives including Out-of-Home Care Education Commitment (inc. Education Support Guarantee) Springboard program Wannik Education Strategy Zero-fee training places

17 The Out-of-Home Care Education Commitment (the Partnering Agreement) A shared responsibility between DEECD, DHS, Catholic Education Commission Victoria and Independent Schools Victoria Establishes the framework to improve the educational engagement and achievement of this vulnerable group Common language Shared objectives Consistent processes across the sectors

18 The Key Ingredient: Effective Partnerships Government Case Manager School Non-Gov Agencies Carer/ Family

19 18 The Education Support Guarantee for a child or young person in out-of-home care Learning mentor for each child or young person in a school in OOHC Educational Need Assessment for each child or young person in a school for three mons or longer Prioritisation of referrals to educational related health and Wellbeing services Priority status for post round applications to the Program for Students with a Disability

20 19 We know that tailoring learning to an individuals needs is critical to maintaining student engagement and to achievement The strategies within the Partnering Agreement are all designed to ensure that: –there is a strong understanding of a young persons unique needs and aspirations –support and learning programs are tailored around this knowledge. Personalising learning and support

21 20 A learning mentor will be allocated to each child or young person in out-of-home care enrolled in a school Schools will identify a teacher or staff member who has a positive relationship with the child or young person to act as a learning mentor Learning mentors are being provided with training which focuses on impact of trauma and abuse, the learning mentor role Based on initiatives in the UK and evidence that positive adult relationships at school reduce the risks of disengagement A Learning Mentor

22 21 An educational needs assessment is required for every school student who has resided in out-of-home care for a period of three months or longer. Government has committed $12.8m over four years for comprehensive health and education assessments for children and young people in residential care A challenge for Victoria will be how to best respond to the needs identified. Particularly for the cohort of young people currently disengaged in education. An Educational Needs Assessment

23 Individual intervention for the most vulnerable students (eg PSD: ~21,000; OOHC: ~5,000 etc) Targeted intervention for at-risk students (DDA: 15-20% = 81,000 to 108,000 students) Universal Prevention for all students Examples: Program for Student with Disabilities Re-engagement Learning Options ID Satellite Units OOHC Partnering Agreement Accessible technologies Anaphylaxis Training Examples: Student Support Services Abilities Based Learning and Education Support Reading difficulties/Dyslexia Language Support Program Homelessness Guidelines Autism Inclusion Programs GLBTI support Examples: Professional development in special education Student Engagement Guidelines Building Safe and Respectful Schools Health promotion Drug Education, Sexuality Education PWOs, SWCs and chaplains Students can, and do, move between tiers on a regular basis Other education system supports – a tiered approach

24 Secondary School Primary School Primary School Nurses Secondary School NursesStudent Support Services Primary Welfare OfficersStudent Welfare Coordinators School Chaplains School-appointed wellbeing and engagement staff Koorie Engagement Support Services School Focused Youth ServiceYouth Connections Access to other specialised resources

25 Future directions

26 Additional funding for Therapeutic Residential Care Zero-fee training places for young people leaving care New teacher training to increase capacity of school to support vulnerable children with challenging behaviours and mental health Development of a 5 year plan for OOHC including a complementary five year plan for Aboriginal in OOHC Reforms to Maternal and Child Health, as part of a new Memorandum of Understanding with the local government Work to reform the CSO sector to ensure adequate capacity and quality Key future reforms

27 26 Improve our data collection across sectors Embed Partnering Agreement policy and processes – particularly in Catholic and Independent schools More coordinated whole of government focus on improving outcomes for children and young people in OOHC Better connected across the range of diverse initiatives currently in place Focus on targeted education assessments to inform the education programs and approaches to working with the child or young person Our immediate next steps

28 27 For further information: Kris Arcaro – Director, Student Engagement and Wellbeing - DEECD Argiri Alisandratos – Assistant Director, Placement and Support, DHS Questions

29 Links Out of Home Care Education Commitment: htm Calmer Classrooms: Office of the Child Safety Commissioner: Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry: Springboard Program: providers/children,-youth-and-families/child-and-youth-placement-and- support/leaving-care/springboard-intensive-education-and-employment providers/children,-youth-and-families/child-and-youth-placement-and- support/leaving-care/springboard-intensive-education-and-employment

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