Briefing paper

Working together to support children and families: Key findings from the Practice First evaluation

5 May 2017

Worldwide, child protection systems face a range of challenges to quality service delivery. Practice First was introduced by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) in 2012 to improve systems, practices and culture relating to assessment, decision-making and support of children reported at risk of significant harm (ROSH). The evaluation of Practice First was conducted by a consortium led by the Parenting Research Centre and involving the University of Melbourne and the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. It assessed the implementation and service system outcomes of Practice First across 24 Community Service Centres in NSW.

This Snapshot provides an overview of the key findings from the Practice First evaluation. The evaluation found that Practice First has facilitated a shift in organisational culture within FACS towards a focus on child centred practice and increased engagement with children, carers and other agencies.

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