Child Safety must arrange, in consultation with the child and their family and subject to their agreement, for an independent person to facilitate the child and family’s participation in significant decisions made during ongoing intervention.
This includes decisions such as:
- the type of intervention
- the type of child protection order
- where and with whom the child will live.
The independent person will facilitate the child or family’s participation in any meeting held to discuss the decision. When it is time to review and revise a case plan the independent person support the child and family to participate in the Family Group Meeting (FGM). Wherever possible the Family Participation Program (FPP) will facilitate a culturally appropriate family led decision making process.
The conversation around having an independent person should not be just discussed once and left at that. It is an ongoing conversation between the practitioner and the child and family. They have the right to have the same person, to change the person they have, or change their mind all together and choose to not have an independent person involved.
Many of the conversation hints in the part Decision making and participation in planning during investigation and assessment will be useful for conversations about having an independent person during ongoing intervention.
How can the Family Participation Program work with the family during ongoing intervention?
The Family Participation Program service can:
- facilitate an independent culturally appropriate family led decision making process when a decision is required about the safety or care of a child (for example, family group meetings for case planning or review)
- empower the family to feel heard and supported to ensure everything they want to say and express is heard
- help the family understand Child Safety’s concerns and support the family to find solutions that provide safety and wellbeing of a child and the family
- help the family identify and organise family members who might be able to support them at the family meeting
- engage the family in reviewing a case plan
- engage a child who has been subject to the long-term guardianship of the chief executive for two years, and the child’s family, in a review required under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 51VAA to consider if the current order is still the best for achieving permanence for the child
- help the family develop a family plan and discuss that plan with Child Safety
- support the independent person in their role during Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family led decision making processes
- help the family with kinship mapping to identify placements and safety and support network members
- facilitate reunification planning cultural support planning or transition from care planning.
Refer to Building partnerships with the community.
Refer to the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs website for updated information about the Family Participation Program provider for your local area.
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