Communities and Justice

Charter of Rights

People working with and caring for children and young people in out-of-home care are responsible for ensuring that children and young people have access to the Charter or Rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and where relevant the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

As a casework practitioner, you have an obligation to ensure the children and young people with whom you work, know and understand their rights. You also have a responsibility to uphold these rights and comply with them in your work  n out of home care (OOHC).

It's not always easy to engage children and young people in these conversations. These bright, colourful resources have been created to help you explain the Charter of Rights in a way that is easy to understand, engaging and age appropriate:

Common principles for contact

The Common Principles for Contact (DOCX, 204.3 KB) are a component of Safe Home for Life Reforms (2014-2016), developed as a best practice guide to support child centred contact planning. The six common principles were:

  • developed by The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) as a co-design project with the input of peak bodies, our OOHC sector partners, representatives of the legal profession and carers.
  • designed with the purpose of supporting consistent and child focused casework practice in arranging contact for children and young people in OOHC.

The issues paper 'Improving contact in the best interest of the child: Issues Paper (DOCX, 189.6 KB)' reviews the consultation and research journey that has occurred throughout the development of the Common Principles for Contact project. The issues paper outlines the contact principles, how we can improve contact in the best interest of the child, the co-design workshops, the challenges of contact and transforming practice.

Using the safe contact tool assists casework practitioners to:

  • assess and plan for safe family time for children and young people in care
  • promote a collaborative approach with parents, family/kin and community

Casework practitioners make decisions about the type, level and frequency of family time to reflect the child and young person’s case plan goal and promote their best interests.

Ideally, family time should be held in an environment that is safe, comfortable and relaxed without to many distractions. It is important that the people participating in family time are involved in decisions about the arrangements.

When family time occurs, casework practitioners monitor and review the effectiveness of arrangements. This may include a caseworker’s or supervisor’s observations, but also includes talking to the child or young person, their family and their carer.

When resolving contact disputes (DOCX, 207.3 KB)  that arise for a child or young person in OOHC, a PSP provider works with DCJ using Alternate Dispute Resolution (DOCX, 207.2 KB) (ADR). The use of ADR in contact disputes seeks to create a less adversarial practice that is more focused on the child or young person and their family.

Last updated:

24 Feb 2023