Case planning is the process we use to make sure children and young people in out-of-home care receive the care and support they need, including maintaining a connection with their family.
A case plan sets out:
- a child’s protection and care needs
- the needs of the child’s family
- what will be done to help the child
- what will be done to help the child’s family
- who will be helping the child and their family
- when the child and their family will receive this help.
As a foster carer or kinship carer, you will contribute to the case plan and help put it into action. You will meet regularly with the family, your Child Safety Officer (CSO), other important people in the child’s life, and the child or young person when possible, to develop and review the case plan.
This process involves the following:
- Child Health Passport
- Children and young people with disabilities
- Education Support Plan
- Family contact and reunification
- Long-term guardianship
- Placement Agreement
- Transition to independence.
Child Health Passport
The Child Health Passport records a child or young person’s health information and provides carers with the information they need to meet the child’s day-to-day health needs.
Immunisation of children in out-of-home care
Foster and kinship carers who are caring for children under orders granting guardianship to the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (DCCSDS) do not need the department’s consent before making an appointment for the child to be vaccinated.
Carers will receive an Authority to Care form from the department that includes consent for immunisation.
For children who are in the custody of DCCSDS, the department must seek the parent’s consent before the child can be immunised.
Blood tests of children in out-of-home care
Foster and kinship carers who are caring for children under orders granting guardianship to DCCSDS do not need the department’s consent for the child to have a blood test if it has been requested by a doctor to assist in diagnosis or medical intervention. This consent is included in the Authority to Care form.
However, the department must consent to any DNA blood testing of the child.
For children who are in the custody of DCCSDS, the parent’s consent must be sought before the child can have a blood test.
Read Making it easier to meet the health care needs of children in out-of-home care for more information.
Children and young people with disabilities
When a child or young person has a disability, the CSO will work collaboratively with Disability Services Queensland to provide appropriate services and supports, including therapeutic and community access services. A child or young person may require:
- intensive emotional and social support on an individual basis
- help with accessing government departments
- assistance with requesting the release of file information
- assistance with connection with other young people to share experiences.
The child or young person may be referred to Evolve for therapeutic and behaviour support.
Education Support Plan
This plan is developed in collaboration between Child Safety and the Department of Education and Training for all children in out-of-home care on a short-term or long-term Child Protection Order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.
The plan identifies the educational goals of the child or young person in care and identifies strategies and resources needed to achieve these goals. The school principal or nominee is responsible for the development, monitoring and review of the plan.
Family contact and reunification
Children and young people tell us that continued contact with their families impacts positively on how they see themselves.
Continued contact with their biological families is fundamental in maintaining a sense of self value and identity. It has significant effects on their emotional and physical development and can help them deal with the grief and loss they experience when they leave their family and enter out-of-home care.
Most children and young people who are placed in out-of-home care within the child protection system return home to live with their parents.
The Child Protection Act 1999 states that, where possible, if a child has been removed from their family, support should be given to the child and the family to allow the child to safely return home.
Sometimes, however, it is not always possible for the child or young person to safely return to the care of their parents. In these circumstances Child Safety will cease to attempt to reunify the child with their family and will instead work towards ensuring that the child is provided with a stable, long-term out-of-home care placement.
The Act allows a long-term guardianship order to be made where it is unlikely that a child or young person will have a parent who is willing and able to protect them in the foreseeable future, or where their need for emotional security will be best met in the long-term by the making of a long-term guardianship order.
Under the Act, the Children’s Court is able to make a child protection order granting long term guardianship to:
- a suitable family member, other than the parent of the child
- another suitable person nominated by the department, for example, a foster carer or a kinship carer who is not a family member
- the chief executive of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.
This is a written agreement between Child Safety and a foster or kinship carer when a child or young person is placed in out-of-home care. As the carer, the agreement provides relevant information about the child or young person to assist you to provide protection and care.
Find out more about case planning and placement agreements.
Transition to independence
When young people in care turn 15 years old, they begin to think about and plan for leaving the care system to live independently in the community.
Transitioning to independence can be daunting for any young person, particularly for young people in care who may not have the support of a family network. It can also be a positive and empowering experience if they have access to the right information.