Penny Hood


Penny Hood is the Director Innovation, Co-Design and Implementation within the Programs and Service Design (PSD) Division of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. This unit is responsible for promoting innovative practice, design and implementation science within FACS. Penny has over 15 years senior executive government experience across a number of sectors (child protection, transport and environment) and portfolios (policy, program design and management, strategy and governance, intergovernmental relations).


NSW is leading Australia in the development and trial of a framework – the QAF – to reliably and consistently measure individual outcomes for children and young people in statutory out-of-home care and provide this information to caseworkers to drive their practice.

Since presenting at the 2016 Child Aware Conference significant progress has been made and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, the Parenting Research Centre, Burran Dalai Aboriginal Corporation, Key Assets Fostering NSW and Mackillop Family Services are working in partnership to trial the QAF across three sites in NSW.

This presentation will focus on what we have learnt so far from the implementation trial, including facilitators and barriers, and highlight the collaborative work being undertaken. This includes identifying and integrating valid and reliable wellbeing measures into casework practice, development of self-survey instruments and work to progress the wellbeing domain of cultural and spiritual identity for Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse children and young people.

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