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Who must have a cultural support plan?

A cultural support plan is required for every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child who is subject to ongoing intervention. The initial cultural support plan should be developed when the first case plan is developed—during the family group meeting.

When a child remains in the home

When a child is subject to intervention with parental agreement or a directive or supervision order, the senior team leader may decide it is not necessary to complete a comprehensive cultural support plan for the child. They may decide it is appropriate to only record minimal information in the cultural support plan, or to state that the family will continue to meet the cultural needs of the child.

This may occur when:

  • the family will generally be able to continue to meet the cultural needs of the child, as they did prior to Child Safety’s involvement
  • the family finds it intrusive for Child Safety to complete a cultural support plan while the child is still in their care.

When a child is subject to a child protection care agreement

When a child is subject to a child protection care agreement (and is therefore in the custody of the chief executive), the senior team leader may decide that it is not necessary to complete a comprehensive cultural support plan for the child, after considering:

  • the length of time the child will remain in care
  • whether the child is living with a kinship carer or culturally appropriate carer
  • how much time the child is spending with their parents, siblings and extended family
  • whether there is a specific identified cultural need.

If, in any of the circumstances outlined above, the child and the family request assistance with their cultural identity and connectedness, a comprehensive cultural support plan can be developed with the family, as outlined in the following sections.

However, if a comprehensive cultural support plan is not developed, it is best practice to accurately record any cultural information provided by the family on ICMS.

When the child in care is on child protection orders

When an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child is subject to a child protection order and is in care, we must develop a comprehensive cultural support plan. This is part of meeting the legislative requirement to maintain the child’s connection to family, community, culture and country. Gathering this information early in the intervention is critical.

When a child is subject to a long-term guardianship order to a suitable person

Following the making of a child protection order granting long-term guardianship to a suitable person, the guardian assumes full responsibility for identifying and responding to the child’s cultural needs on an ongoing basis. The guardian may be eligible for financial assistance in some circumstances, to meet the child’s cultural needs.

When a child is subject to a Permanent Care order

Following the making of a permanent care order, the guardian assumes full responsibility for identifying and responding to the child’s cultural needs on an ongoing basis.

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