Strengthening our families through an Aboriginal case management policy
The NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) has engaged AbSec, as the NSW Aboriginal child and family peak organisation, to lead the development of a new resource: the Aboriginal Case Management Policy and accompanying Rules and Practice Guidance handbook.
We are working to create a policy that is holistic, culturally responsive, and embeds the values and perspectives of Aboriginal people. Through the policy and guidelines we aim to:
- Respond to the specific needs of Aboriginal families and children across the continuum of child protection care, from early intervention and prevention, through to out-of-home care and after-care;
- Address all stages of case management (cultural and case planning, implementation, monitoring and review) used in the support of Aboriginal families and children – whether they are being looked after by an Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal service provider;
- Ensure that support services meet the needs and expectations of Aboriginal children, families and communities; and
- Identify what changes will be needed to put this policy into action
We have undertaken a comprehensive stakeholder consultation and community engagement process between June and August 2017, holding discussions with hundreds of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal stakeholders across the sector.
Overview of the state-wide consultations
- 2 x 2-day intensive workshops with Aboriginal service providers:
5–6 June 2017
30–31 August 2017
- 11 x state-wide consultations with Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal service providers and non-Aboriginal service providers, FACS and other key stakeholders (June to August)
- 3 x targeted workshops consisting of Aboriginal practitioners, government and non-government peak body representatives:
16 August 2017
18 August 2017
22 August 2017
- 304 x community conversations, consisting of 233 face-to-face discussions and 49 online survey responses
Key themes that emerged during the workshops, including your views and key messages, have been compiled into a workshop report.
We have prepared an overview of the key themes arising from our stakeholder consultations – please read What you Told Us – Aboriginal Case Management Policy Consultations.
A further summary of the key themes emerging from our survey is available here.
The following five themes emerged through these discussions, with most of the participants believing they are important to keep in mind when working with Aboriginal children, young people, their families and communities:
- (1) The Aboriginal Case Management Policy must empower Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities
- (2) An effective Aboriginal Case Management Policy supports families to access a range of holistic services in one place
- (3) The policy must focus on culturally competent practice, working with Aboriginal families and communities in culturally embedded ways
- (4) Services must be tailored, flexible and holistic to meet the individual needs and strengths of Aboriginal children, families and communities
- (5) Services must be ultimately accountable to Aboriginal children and young people
Respondents identified the following seven key principles:
- (1) Child-focused approach to safety and wellbeing
- (2) Family-led decision making
- (3) Community involvement, including self-determination and advocacy
- (4) Culturally embedded
- (5) Holistic services tailored to the needs of Aboriginal children and families
- (6) Oriented to prevent harm and preserve families
- (7) Accountable to Aboriginal peoples for the outcomes achieved for Aboriginal children and their families
The Aboriginal Case Management Policy and complementary Rules and Practice Guidance resource are currently being finalised. Thank you to all those who have participated in the consultations and development of this important work – we look forward to sharing it with you all in the coming weeks.