Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
Up-to-date information on how we are responding to COVID-19
Stay informed

What is safe care and connection?

The term Safe Care and Connection was developed to describe a new approach to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families introduced with legislative amendments in 2018. It recognises the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to self-determination and acknowledges the long-term effects of decisions on identity and connection with family and culture.

It also incorporates the five elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle — prevention, partnership, placement, participation and connection — to ensure they are always applied when a person is undertaking a function under the Child Protection Act 1999 in relation to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Key messages

The intent of safe care and connection is to:

  • Understand that culture underpins and is integral to the safety and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, and should be embedded within legislation, policy, programs, processes and practice.
  • Prevent future generations from experiencing the ongoing and generational impacts of removal from family, culture and country by adding new principles and practices that recognise the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to self-determination.
  • Recognises the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to self-determination and acknowledge the long-term effects that decisions have on the identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, and their connection to family, culture and country.
  • Keep children and young people connected to their family, culture and country by requiring a case plan for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child and young person to include details about how they will be supported to develop and maintain connections with their family, culture and country.
  • Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to make or participate in decisions that affect them and their children by improving access to services and support and allowing greater flexibility to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families about who they can choose to support them to participate in decision making (recognising that the child or young person and their family are best placed to provide cultural knowledge).
  • Ensure appropriate decisions are made by applying the five elements of the Child Placement Principle (prevention, partnership, placement, participation and connection) to the administration of the Child Protection Act 1999 — this means all Child Safety functions must be undertaken in line with the principles. It requires the chief executive, the Director of Child Protection Litigation or an authorised officer under the Child Protection Act 1999  to comply with the Child Placement Principle when making a significant decision
  • Strengthens the requirement to place an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child with their family group.
  • Recognise the importance of kinship carers as a means of strengthening and maintaining the connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people to family, culture and country.
  • Build greater partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, communities and the community-controlled sector to co-design and lead the implementation of improved services that promote the role of the community-controlled sector in supporting families to make decisions affecting them and their children.
  • Enables the chief executive to delegate functions and powers in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in need of protection to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation.

(Let’s Get Ready Guide October 2018)

Tip

Watch these videos to gain an understanding of Safe Care and Connection

Safe Care and Connection Part 1

Legislative Amendments Safe Care and Connection Part 1 – Helen and Maureen

Safe Care and Connection Part 2

Legislative Amendments Safe Care and Connection Part 2 – Stacey and Kylie 

Sharing our Stories – Safe care and connection

Sharing our stories - Safe care and connection - Alberta and Nakita

Version history

Back to top

Published on:

Last reviewed:

  • Date: 
    Page created