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Identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Child Safety staff have a statutory responsibility to accurately identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. This is to ensure ongoing intervention reflects culturally appropriate service delivery that is specific to their individual needs and circumstances.

Child Safety staff must to talk with parents and families, at the earliest and most appropriate time, about their cultural identity. In this way, we can make sure that when the cultural support plan is developed, the child is assisted in maintaining their identity and remaining connected to the culture and community which is specific to them.

The information captured in the cultural support plan should be gathered in partnership with those who are best placed to provide this information—the child, their family, Elders, and those community members of significance to the child. This information should be accurately recorded in ICMS.

When an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child or their parents choose to not identify with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and community, Child Safety will still recognise the child as being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. Cultural information for the child will still be gathered and recorded accurately in the cultural support plan and on ICMS.


Cultural consideration

Before entering any information into a cultural support plan, obtain the views and wishes of the family to ensure you are working respectfully and sensitively with children who have been adopted through traditional adoption or island custom.

Traditional adoption involves the transfer of a child from the biological parent(s) (the ‘giving parents’) to another person or couple (the ‘receiving parents’) to be raised as their own. This can be considered a taboo subject to openly discuss, and children may not be aware of their circumstances.

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