Every child has the right to be raised in their own culture, learn and use the language and customs of their family and play and join in a wide range of cultural activities. Cultural planning should commence when FACS first becomes involved with a family and continues throughout case planning and life story work and cultural support planning. A Cultural Plan in the Care Plan should contain all the information that has been gathered or is known about the child's culture. It is best done in partnership with the family as they know their cultural values and beliefs the best
Cultural Plans should be completed with the information known at the time of its completion. If it is known at the time a child or young person comes into care, or during the development of the Care Plan, that they are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background and/or a Multicultural background, the Cultural Plans should be completed at the same time as the Care Plan.
Yes. Completing the Cultural Plans is mandatory for children and young people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and multicultural backgrounds. There are specific legislative requirements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children that FACS must demonstrate compliance with. There are also legislative requirements for supporting cultural connection for children or young people from a Multicultural background. The new Cultural Plans support decisions made relating to the placement and ongoing support required for that child or young person whilst in statutory care.
The Care Plan, including the Cultural Plans, is used when submitting documentation to the Children's Court. Future Case Plans and Cultural Support Plans are not restricted by this Care Plan but should be informed and be used as a basis on which to build and allow the child or young person to fully engage in their culture over the Case Plan timeframe.
In this case both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Plan and the Multicultural Plan should be completed as part of completing the Care Plan.
Wherever possible, caseworkers should provide all information regarding the child and young person's cultural identity and background. Where some information is incomplete or not known at the time, caseworkers should document the actions they have taken to find the information, or the follow up actions that are required to complete the Cultural Plan.