Under the Child and Family Agency Act 2013, the Agency is required to support children’s development, welfare and protection by providing a range of services. The legislation also emphasises the need for Agency accountability. This is so that the public can be confident that the services provided by the Agency result in the best possible outcomes for the children concerned.
An important role for the Department is developing a Performance Framework which sets out a programme of work for the Agency over a number of years. The legislation sets out specific timeframes for this. For example, the Minister must provide the Agency with the Performance Framework within six months of Agency establishment. The Agency then has to submit its 3 year Corporate Plan to the Department which will set out its key objectives, outputs and related strategies within three months.
The legislation also requires the Minister to develop an annual Performance Statement so that the Agency receives specific policy guidance and priorities before preparing its Business Plan for the year. Under the legislation, the Minister is obliged to do this as soon as possible after the Budget. In turn, the Agency must submit its Business Plan to the Department 30 days after receiving the Performance Statement.
The Agency is required to report regularly to the Department on how it is delivering under these parameters.