Welcome to Maple Youth Services, where we offer a range of supports under the Specialised Substitute Residential Care (SSRC) model. SSRC, formerly known as Voluntary Out of Home Care (VOOHC), is a vital care arrangement provided in New South Wales, regulated by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian. This page aims to provide you with an overview of SSRC, including its definition, types of care we offer, funding options, the role of the Children’s Guardian, and our responsibilities as an SSRC agency.
What is Specialised Substitute Residential Care?
At Maple Youth Services, we provide SSRC, a care arrangement specifically designed to offer children support away from their usual homes for three or more nights within a seven-day period. Whether it’s respite care to give parents or caregivers a break, behaviour support tailored to specific needs, or funding through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to assist children with disabilities, we are here to ensure children receive the care they deserve.
Types of Care in SSRC:
Maple Youth Services offers a range of care options under the SSRC model, tailored to meet the diverse needs of children and young people across Australia. Our care options include:
- Stays of three or more nights: Children may stay in group homes, respite facilities, hotels, or Airbnb environments for three or more nights in a seven-day period. We prioritize flexibility for families and caregivers, allowing non-consecutive stays to accommodate individual circumstances.
- Overnight or short-term accommodation: We provide safe and supportive environments in our group homes or respite facilities, offering overnight or short-term stays for children who require care outside their usual homes.
- ‘Host family’ arrangement: In certain cases, children may stay with another family for three or more nights as part of a ‘host family’ arrangement. This unique experience allows children to explore a different family dynamic while receiving the care they need.
- Longer-term residential care: For children requiring ongoing care and stability, we offer longer-term residential care in supportive environments. This option ensures that children have the consistent care they require.
- Respite or behaviour support camps: Maple Youth Services organizes camps lasting three or more nights, specifically focused on providing respite care or behaviour support. These camps offer structured and therapeutic environments for children to develop new skills and socialize with their peers.
- Accommodation under the NSW Bail Assistance Program: As part of the NSW Bail Assistance Program, we provide SSRC to children involved in the justice system or at risk of offending, offering them accommodation and tailored support.
Flexibility and Duration of SSRC:
At Maple Youth Services, we understand that every child’s needs are unique. That’s why our SSRC care arrangements are highly flexible. We can provide one-off emergency placements, offering immediate support during crises. Additionally, SSRC can be accessed on a regular or long-term basis, ensuring consistent care and stability for children who require ongoing support.
We strive to make SSRC accessible to all families and children. Funding options include:
- Direct payment by families: Families have the option to directly pay for SSRC services to ensure their child receives the necessary care and support.
- NSW Bail Assistance Program: Children involved in the justice system or at risk of offending may access SSRC through the NSW Bail Assistance Program. This program provides accommodation and support specifically tailored to their needs.
- National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): For children with disabilities, we assist in accessing funding through the NDIS to cover the costs of SSRC. This ensures they receive appropriate care and support.
The Role of the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian:
At Maple Youth Services, we work closely with the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian to ensure the safety and well-being of children in our care. The Children’s Guardian plays a crucial role in regulating and overseeing SSRC services. Their responsibilities include:
- Compliance with Child Safe Standards: We adhere to the Child Safe Standards set by the Children’s Guardian, prioritizing child safety in our organizational leadership, culture, and governance.
- Continuous improvement: We embrace a culture of continuous improvement in service coordination, planning, and delivery to enhance the quality of SSRC at Maple Youth Services.
- Monitoring and regulation: Since 2011, the Office of the Children’s Guardian has regulated SSRC agencies, including us. Their oversight ensures that our practices align with the Statutory Procedures: Voluntary out-of-home care in NSW and Child Safe Standards. This regulation aims to maintain high standards of care and protect the rights and well-being of children.
Our Responsibilities as an SSRC Agency:
At Maple Youth Services, we take our responsibilities as an SSRC agency seriously. These include:
- Registering with the Office of the Children’s Guardian: We are registered with the Office of the Children’s Guardian, ensuring that we meet the regulatory standards to provide or arrange SSRC in New South Wales.
- Intake, assessment, and case planning: We conduct thorough intake assessments, coordinate with relevant agencies, and develop comprehensive case plans tailored to the specific needs of children and families under our care.
- Involvement of children and families: We actively involve children, young people, and their families in the care planning and decision-making processes. We prioritize listening to the child’s voice and considering their preferences and needs.
- Complaint resolution: We have transparent and accessible complaint resolution processes in place, ensuring that children, young people, and families can address concerns and hold us accountable.
- Cultural appropriateness: At Maple Youth Services, we provide culturally appropriate services, respecting and valuing the diversity of children and their families.
- SSRC Register: We diligently enter relevant information about children and young people accessing SSRC into the SSRC Register. This database records details such as names, birthdates, genders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, disability information, care duration, and case plan dates.
- Supervision and case planning: We ensure that children in SSRC receive appropriate supervision if their stay exceeds 90 days in any 12-month period. Additionally, children in long-term SSRC (over 180 days in any 12-month period) require an approved case plan, which is renewed at least once a year to ensure ongoing support and care.
At Maple Youth Services, we are dedicated to providing Specialised Substitute Residential Care (SSRC) to support children requiring care away from their usual homes. With our comprehensive understanding of SSRC, diverse care options, flexible durations, and funding accessibility, we strive to meet the unique needs of each child. Working in partnership with the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian, we prioritize the safety, well-being, and individual needs of the children in our care. Contact us today to learn more about how Maple Youth Services can provide the support your child needs.