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									                                             CPAG - NGO Consultative Group
                                                      Supported Care Allowance

                                                                                     Meeting Date:

Minutes                                                                              1 December 2010

Meeting Location:                                                                    Meeting Time:
Level 4, CE Conference Room                                                          2:30 – 3:30 pm

Members: Annette Gallard (Community Services - Chair), Bill Pritchard (AbSec), Jill De’ath (Connecting Carers),
Sue O’Connor (Foster Parents Support Network), Rita Fenech (Connecting Carers)

Also in attendence:
Anne-Maree Sabellico (Community Services), Pip Welman (Community Services), Clare Rogers (Community
Services), Toni Allan (Community Services - Secretariat)

Joan Quinlan (AbSec), Anne-Maree Elias (COTA)


Agenda #     Item discussed                                                                    Action by
1            Welcome and Apologies
             Apologies were received and noted.

2            Minutes and Actions from the previous meeting (6 October 2010)
             The minutes from the previous meeting were formally endorsed and all
             outstanding actions were noted as complete.

3            Project Update and Progress Report
Agenda       Anne-Maree Sabellico (Community Services A/Executive Director,
Paper        Operations Development) advised members that each of the three project
Progress     trial sites were at different stages in the completion of pre-proclamation
Update       reviews, with Dubbo likely to complete the trial first, followed by Shell
             Harbour. Full file reviews were completed for cases at all sites, with
             remaining interviews delayed by challenges in recruiting and maintaining
             pilot staff.
             Feedback from participants was generally positive and the importance of
             good communication and clear explanations to carers has been evident.
             Members advised that positive feedback had been received from carers in
             the Dubbo and Shell Harbour areas. Community Services also thanked
             AbSec for its assistance in boosting community engagement in the Kempsey

4           New SCA Applications: timeframes, issues and process
            Anne-Maree Sabellico advised that interim procedures were currently in
            place for applications received after the 24/1/10 proclamation date
            Statutory annual reviews are likely to begin from January 2011, and
            Community Services is in the process of developing review tools and
            procedures, as well as considering how best to train staff in the process.
            It was noted that the number of new applications had fallen significantly. It is   Ops Development
                                                                                                           Page 1 of 2
          possible that the extensive backlog had artificially inflated figures and we      to issue a memo to
          were now seeing a more accurate representation of the situation.                  all regions
                                                                                            regarding the use
          It was confirmed that financial support through access to Family Initiative
                                                                                            of FIF.
          Funding (FIF) may be available whilst applicants are awaiting a decision
          regarding their eligibility for SCA. . Chair Annette Gallard (Chief Executive     Copy to be
          Community Services) said Regional Directors should be reminded that FIF           provided to
          can be accessed in these circumstances within unit budgets. Anne-Maree            members to allow
          Sabellico undertook to issue a memo to all regions regarding the use of FIF.      them to advise their
          A copy of the memo will be provided to members to allow them to advise            own constituencies
          their own constituencies appropriately.                                           appropriately
          Centrelink Welfare-to-Work Exemptions
          Community Services has confirmed that Welfare-to-Work Exemption
                                                                                            Ops Development
          certificates will not be provided to family or kinship carers who are no longer
                                                                                            to liaise with OOHC
          eligible for the Supported Care Allowance.
                                                                                            policy to investigate
          Members discussed the potential of using the Statutory Declaration                Welfare to Work
          indicating care responsibilities for grandchildren, distributed by COTA, which    situation in other
          has been made available through the Attorney-General’s Department. It was         states, where the
          agreed Community Services would investigate further to determine the              Supported Care
          situation in other states, where the Supported Care Allowance does not            Allowance does not
          exist.                                                                            exist

          Other Business
          Anne-Maree Sabellico advised that Community Services would soon start to
          look at the range of court orders available in out-of-home care, as part of a
          separate Keep Them Safe project.
          Sue O’Connor (Foster Parents Support Network) tabled a summary report of
          feedback from carers at a recent Kinship and Relative Carers Camp.
          Feedback had been highly constructive, and included an information booklet
          on relative and kinship care, specific training, support groups and for
          caseworkers to attend camps and carer forums.
          Anne-Maree Sabellico indicated that the feedback would be a useful addition
          to the existing Foster Care Support Project, and could help form a
          comprehensive feedback resource when combined with ideas from AbSec
          and COTA.
Next      NEXT MEEETING – 28 February 2011

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