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Children and young people in out of home care (OOHC) often have high and unmet health needs and are more disadvantaged and vulnerable than other children. NSW Health provides coordinated health assessments and intervention for children and young people entering statutory OOHC who are expected to remain in care for longer than 90 days. The program also targets young people aged 15-17 years expected to leave care within the next year. The program which coordinates this process is called The OOHC Health Pathway program, and is an outcome of the Justice Wood, Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection in NSW.

An interagency framework

NSW Health, with the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) have developed an interagency framework to support the health assessment process, called The Model Pathway for the Comprehensive Health and Developmental Assessments for All Children and Young People Entering Out-of-Home Care. The child is at the core of the model.

The model also promotes collaboration between NSW Health, FACS, and OOHC service providers, including health professionals, other government agencies, non-government agencies and carers. A Memorandum of Understanding between NSW Health and FACS on Health Screening, Assessment, Intervention and Review for Children and young People in Out-of-Home-Care supports this collaboration.

The pathway for children and young people

Under the program, children and young people entering statutory OOHC commence a primary health assessment within 30 days of a child or young person entering OOHC.

Primary health assessment is undertaken by a broad range of health care providers, including General Practitioners, Aboriginal Medical Services and Child and Family Health Nurses. Once the relationship with a health professional is established, children, young people and carers will have someone to support them on other health and wellbeing issues, big and small (eg. nutrition, sleep, parenting, illnesses and injuries).

After the primary health assessment, the health professional may then refer the child or young person for a comprehensive multidisciplinary health assessment. On the basis of these assessments, and in partnership with the child/young person, their carer, and/or their case worker, each child or young person has a Health Management Plan developed for/with them. The Health Management Plan identifies their state of health, recommended interventions and appropriate review process.

The program also targets young people aged 15-17 years who are anticipated to leave care within the next year. Research shows that this transition is a period where there is significant risk that young people will disengage from health services. The program therefore focuses on fostering increased health literacy, establishing links with General Practice/primary health care, and supporting young people’s access to their personal medical records in the lead up to leaving care.

The importance of the OOHC Health Pathway program

The program aims to support earlier identification of health and wellbeing issues for children and young people in OOHC, providing timely intervention when required. The overall aim is to improve the short and long-term health, development and wellbeing outcomes for children and young people in OOHC, as well as support carers and placement stability.


Out-of-Home Care Health Pathway - Information for children and young people.


Out-of-Home Care Health Pathway - Information for Carers.

Contact your local OOHC Health Pathway coordinator

Each local health district has an OOCH Health Pathway coordinator responsible for managing and coordinating referrals across all facilities in their district. To find out which local health district you live in, search for your closest town.

Local health district
Coordinator Contact
Central Coast Sonia Varney Phone: (02) 4367 9600
Email: cclhd-oohc@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: 169 The Entrance Road, Erina NSW 2250
Far West

Sharon Cameron

Phone: 08 8080 1100
Email: fwlhd-oohc@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: PO Box 457, Broken Hill NSW 2880

Hunter New England Katherine Berry Phone: (02) 6515 1816
Email: hnelhd-oohcintake@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au
Address: Locked Bag 9783, Tamworth NEMSC 2348
Illawarra Shoalhaven Anna Meaker Phone: (02) 4224 2900
Email: islhd-oohc@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: 42a Porter Street, North Wollongong NSW 2500
Mid North Coast Ruth Reynolds Phone: (02) 6589 2578
Email: mnclhd-oohchealthadmin@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: PO Box 126, Port Macquarie NSW
Murrumbidgee Belinda Burns
Jully-Ann Ndlovu
Phone: 0467 746 798, (02) 5943 2348 or 0428 275 376
Email: mlhd-outofhomecare@health.nsw.gov.au
Nepean Blue Mountains Joanne Huging Phone: (02) 4730 5100
Email: nbmlhd-oohc@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: Cranebrook Community Health Centre, PO Box 29, Cranebrook NSW 2749
North Sydney Lisa Dubiez Phone: (02) 9462 9271
Email: nslhd-oohcintake@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: RNS Community Health Centre Level 2, 2C Herbert Street, St Leonards NSW 2065
Northern NSW Nicole Ashby Phone: (02) 6603 0922
Email: nnswlhd-outofhomecare@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: Yamba Community Health 3 Roberts Close, Yamba NSW 2464
South Eastern Sydney and Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick Rose Kassolis Phone: 0418 716 488
Email: seslhd-soohc@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: Caringbah Community Health Centre, Locked Bag 21, Taren Point NSW 2229
Southern NSW Courtney Namonye Phone: (02) 4825 4856
Email: oohc@gsahs.health.nsw.gov.au
Address: PO Box 274, Goulburn NSW 2580
South Western Sydney Suzy Stewart Phone: 0437 886 022
Email: swslhd-oohchealthreferral@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: Narellan Community Health Centre, Queen Street, Narellan NSW 2567
Sydney Felicity Menner Phone: (02) 9378 1100
Email: slhd-oohcintake@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: Croydon Community Health Centre, 24 Liverpool Road, Croydon NSW 2132
Sydney Children's Hospitals Network -  Email: schn-outofhomecare@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead NSW 2145
Western NSW Helen Ferris Phone: 0419 512 858
Email: wnswlhd-outofhomecare@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: PO Box 4061, Dubbo NSW 2830
Western Sydney Katherine Deveney Phone: (02) 9881 1200
Email: wslhd-oohchealthassessments@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: Mt Druitt Community Health Services, Corner Buran and Kelly Close, Mt Druitt NSW 2770
Current as at: Monday 10 January 2022
Contact page owner: Maternity, Child and Family