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Little girl holding aboriginal flag

We will:

  • consult with an Aboriginal staff member to make sure culture is considered throughout casework
  • respect and learn about Aboriginal cultures and how to work best with Aboriginal families and communities
  • know and respect local traditional owners and custodians of the land
  • recognise and respond to past and current community experiences
  • recognise the injustices that happened because of colonisation and the forced removals of Aboriginal children, and how this still impacts Aboriginal people
  • talk to families to understand how culture is lived in their home and community, and how they are connected to family, community, culture and Country
  • talk to families, more than once, to understand their culture
  • understand if families do not want to talk to us about identity and culture
  • involve family, kin, community and organisations in children’s lives and decisions about them
  • use Aboriginal family-led decision-making processes
  • write down and listen to everyone’s views
  • see the strengths in every child, family and community, and use these to build safety, connection and belonging for children
  • ask families, kin and community about how to keep children safe and help them thrive, and then act on these ideas
  • make sure we get it right when we write down the child’s cultures, clans, totems, languages, and who is in their family and kinship network
  • think about where children feel they belong and are loved – not just where they live
  • work with Aboriginal children in care, their family, kin and community, to make sure they have updated cultural support plans and life story work that keep them connected to their culture every day
  • think about our own culture and how this guides our thoughts and actions. We will watch out for any thoughts or beliefs we have that can get in the way of being fair

What we mean by…

Cultural support plans must be done by DCJ as part of the Children’s Court Care Plan when a child is Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or from a migrant or refugee background. They need to be about the individual child and have information about how the child’s cultural needs will be met throughout their time in care. Caseworkers need to write these plans with children, family and community.

Life story work is the support DCJ gives to children in out-of-home care to understand their life story and build a strong sense of self, family, culture and community. It may be a folder or box of photos, letters, family trees or other keepsakes.

Aboriginal family-led decision-making processes empower families to get involved in planning and decision-making. Learn more about Aboriginal family-led decision-making processes.

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Last updated: 21 Apr 2022