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Information to be recorded in a cultural support plan

The following headings are from the case plan template in ICMS.

The cultural support plan should include information about:

The child’s clan language and ethnic, cultural, island, and community group.

  • This information will be provided by the child, family, independent person, Elders and community members and relevant services of significance to the child and each of the parents.
  • Additional information may be provided by the family group meeting participants, the cultural practice advisor and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Other relevant information can be sourced through reference searches such as Linkup and through local and state libraries.
  • Ensure that Elders and community members of significance to the child and each of the parents are identified in the cultural support plan.
  • The names and contact details of family members and significant persons who can maintain and support the child’s cultural identity must be included in the plan.

The parents’ and siblings’ clan and language, ethnic, cultural, island, and community group

  • This information will be provided by the child, family, independent person, Elders and community members and relevant services of significance to the child and each of the parents.
  • If working with the family in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family-led decision making process, the Family Participation Program may assist in identifying more family members or connections when limited information is known.
  • Other relevant information can be sourced through reference searches such as Linkup, the Community and Personal Histories’ team in the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, and through local and state libraries.

Arrangements for activities or experiences that will support and preserve the child’s cultural identity and connection to their family, community and culture

  • These are the activities/programs/events that the child, family, independent person, Elders and community members and relevant services of significance to the child have identified as desirable for the child to participate in so they will build and maintain their connection with their family, culture and community. The plan should include information about:
    • who will be involved in the activities with the child
    • the benefits for the child from their participation in the activities or experiences
    • the location of the activities or events and when they occur
    • any financial support or approval required from Child Safety
    • any requirements in relation to supervision or support and who is to undertake this role.

The activities may include those that are held in a community:

  • from which the child and their family descend (that is, their traditional lands)
  • with which the child’s family has historical connections (for example, the family was moved to Palm Island)
  • where the child is currently living.

Activities and experiences that could be considered for the cultural support plan include:

  • connecting with siblings, parents, extended family members, Elders and community members
  • attending cultural events such as NAIDOC week, funerals, tombstone unveiling  (Torres Strait Islander-specific), cultural festivals and other local events
  • participating in age-appropriate cultural ceremonies
  • attending family events such as family reunions or weddings
  • engaging and participating in sporting, arts, leisure and recreational activities
  • attending required services, such as health, legal or child care services, through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community services
  • attending school programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children/young people.

Supports required by the carer to maintain and support activities outlined in the cultural support plan

The plan should include information about:

  • any required financial support from Child Safety
  • approval required from Child Safety for any planned travel
  • information and training required by the carer

Carer support, where relevant, may include:

  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mentor
  • provision of books, artwork, music, or information from the internet that relates to the specific cultural groups of the child
  • someone attending community events with the carer for the first time
  • introducing carers to key community members
  • connection with the cultural practice advisor and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who can help the carer understand the child’s history, culture and current issues  
  • providing the carer with an annual events calendar
  • providing the carer with a list of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and contacts (particularly those who have a personal connection to the child)
  • relevant training programs or workshops.

People with whom arrangements have been made for contact with the child to support and develop their cultural identity

This should include information about:

  • who will be involved in connecting with the child
  • their relationship to the child and the benefits for the child from connecting with them
  • the frequency, location and logistics of contact
  • any additional support provided by these people and what this support will include
  • any requirements in relation to supervision or support and who is to provide this
  • how regular connection will occur with as many people as possible who share the child’s cultural background
  • individuals that should not be connected with the child and the reason for this restriction.

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