Communities and Justice

Developing a Care Plan

Collaborating in developing a care plan

When developing a care plan for a child, the Department works collaboratively with a PSP provider. This includes:

  • ensuring the PSP provider participates in development of a care plan, for example by being invited to participate in relevant meetings
  • providing at least two business days for a PSP provider to provide input in relation to draft plans (unless a different timeframe is agreed) and
  • providing the PSP provider with a copy of the sealed care plan as soon as it is approved by the court.

PSP providers:

  • assist the Department in convening a care plan meeting
  • provide written comments in relation to draft care plans, within two business days (unless a different time frame is agreed)
  • destroy draft copies of a care plan and only place sealed care plan on the child’s file.

The development of care plans includes cultural plans for Aboriginal and CALD background children, their parents and family/kin. This is mandatory.

Following making of final orders by the Children’s Court, the PSP provider is responsible for implementing those parts of the care plan within its care responsibility.

Aboriginal cultural considerations in care planning

Cultural care and support planning ensures Aboriginal children’s cultural rights, identity, language and cultural ties are preserved, safeguarded and promoted. Planning, endorsement and implementation of these plans is supported by an ACCO or other locally governed Aboriginal community group*, as the cultural expert in their community.

Cultural care planning for an Aboriginal child is consistent with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Principles, including that:

  • Aboriginal people participate in the care and protection of their children with as much self-determination as is possible (section 11)
  • Aboriginal family-led decision making is used so that Aboriginal families participate in decision making concerning placement of their children and in other significant decisions (section 12).

A child’s cultural care and support plans:

  • are developed using Aboriginal family-led decision making for Aboriginal children
  • include specific age appropriate strategies for developing and maintaining a positive sense of identity, belonging and connection to family/kin, community and culture
  • include arrangements, led and driven by family/kin, for cultural connections and experiences through participation in cultural activities, events and programs
  • acknowledge those aspects of a child’s cultural needs family/kin may have already been meeting prior to the Department taking protective action
  • acknowledges that family is central to culture and includes family cultural activities as part of the cultural support plan, wherever it is safe to do so.

Also see cultural planning.

(*Some local districts refer to local Aboriginal Consultation Advisory Panels (ACAP) - see DCJ Aboriginal Consultation Guide.)

Last updated:

19 Feb 2023