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Cultural Planning

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What is Cultural Planning?

Cultural Planning:

  • identifies the cultural needs of the child or young person
  • outlines how a child or young person is going to be immersed in their culture to maintain and support their cultural identity, language, spirituality and religion, connection and sense of belonging to family, community, Country and culture
  • helps ensure that important cultural and family information is maintained for any child who is too young to contribute to their own cultural support plan or for a child who does not want to identify with their community or culture
  • includes information that should inform ongoing practices and processes related to cultural support planning, life story work and sustained casework for the child.

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

When should I complete a Cultural Plan?

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.

Is cultural planning mandatory?

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.

What takes preference, the Cultural Plan in the Care Plan, or the Cultural Support Plan in the Case Plan?

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.

What if the child has both an Aboriginal and a Multicultural background?

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.

What if I need to submit an incomplete Cultural Plan because the information I need to complete it is not available?

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.

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019