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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 for children and young people aged 0 – 17 years in statutory OOHC living in NSW who are expected to remain in care for longer than 90 days.

Independent evaluation has demonstrated that the program improves access to early intervention and improves short- and long-term health, development and wellbeing.

How does the OOHC Health Pathway Program support the health of children and young people in out of home care?

Children and young people entering statutory OOHC are referred by the Department of Communities and Justice to commence a primary health assessment as soon as possible, ideally within 30 days of a child or young person entering care.

These assessments are undertaken by a range of health care providers, including General Practitioners, Aboriginal Medical Services, Child and Family Health Nurses, and headspace and Youth Health Services where available.

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, 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 supports young people as they plan to leave care, including supporting the young person to establish and maintain an ongoing relationship with a primary health care provider. As young people grow, we seek their consent for and encourage their participation in health care and planning.

The program is a collaboration between NSW Health, Department of Communities and Justice, OOHC service providers, Department of Education, carers, and children and young people themselves.

What can carers expect?

Carers will be contacted by a health staff member from the child or young person's local health district to organise a primary health assessment after the child/young person enters care.

Immediate medical concerns

The OOHC health assessments do not replace the services offered by a GP or emergency department. If a child or young person in your care is unwell or injured, and requires attention, please seek immediate medical attention.

Contact your local OOHC Health Pathway coordinator

Each local health district has an OOHC Health Pathway coordinator responsible for managing and coordinating referrals. The contact details for each local coordinator, and information about local programs, can be found below. To find out which local health district you live in, search for your closest town using this map locator .

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 Merrin Dimmock Phone: (02) 6767 8865 and 0437 357 986
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 Gráinne Ducat (Acting) Phone: (02) 6589 2578
Email: mnclhd-oohchealthadmin@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: PO Box 126, Port Macquarie NSW
Murrumbidgee Susan Colley and Emily Doyle Phone: 0467 746 798 or 0428 275 376
Email: mlhd-outofhomecare@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: Level 3, Wagga Wagga Health Services Hub, Corner Edward and Docker Streets, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650
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 Kate Dougherty 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: (02) 4633 0578
Email: swslhd-oohchealthreferral@health.nsw.gov.au
Address: 59A Cumberland Road, Ingleburn NSW 2565
Sydney Beth Stuart 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 7 November 2022