The Office for Children, Youth and Family Support (OCYFS) works in partnership with the community to protect children and young people from being harmed. OCYFS also works in partnership with families, carers and community agencies to ensure children and young people are safe and achieve the best possible life outcomes. The Office is part of a one CSD human services organisation.
- a 40 bed youth detention centre, Bimberi, and supervises young people who have been placed on a court order.
- three Child and Family Centres, Gungahlin, West Belconnen and Tuggeranong. The Child and Family Centres provide members of the public with information, support and services based on the needs of children and their families. The Child and Family Centres have a strong emphasis on providing outreach services in homes, schools and the community.
- the Child, Youth and family Services Program (CYFSP). The CYFSP is responsible for planning, research and the management of Service Funding Agreements for a range of community based services.
OCYFS provides funding to a number of non government agencies to provide both foster care services and residential care. Through these funding relationships it plays a pivotal role in establishing stable arrangements and care plans for children in care and for monitoring the overall quality of the care system.
Children, young people and families may be compelled by court orders and by the statutory framework of the Children and Young People Act 2008 to engage with OCYFS. Many other children, young people and families choose to voluntarily engage with OCYFS to access its services which include Child and Family Centres. At all times OCYFS is committed to involving children and young people in a meaningful way in decision-making about their lives.
OCYFS is currently structured around the following branches:
- Child and Youth Protection Services
- Early Intervention and Prevention Services
Key strategies being developed and delivered through OCYFS include:
A Step Up for Our Kids: a five year Out of Home Care Strategy to guide the delivery of out of home care services from July 2015 – June 2020. The Strategy proposes a therapeutically oriented service system that provides a trauma related response to vulnerable children and young people.
Blueprint for Youth Justice: The Blueprint for Youth Justice in the ACT 2012-22 has a focus on early intervention, prevention and diversion with custody used as a measure of last resort. The vision that guides the Blueprint focuses on:
- keeping children and young people safe from harm
- building their resilience
- strengthening their connections with their families
- encouraging their participation in the wider community.