Principles of Aboriginal Case Management

The Aboriginal Case Management Policy reflects key principles for engaging and working with Aboriginal children and young people, families and communities, strengthening families and addressing risks that may contribute to the incidence of harm or providing for the optimal development of Aboriginal children and young people.

1. Case Management that is child focused to promote child safety and well-being.

  • Understanding and meeting the developmental needs, in a trauma-informed context, of Aboriginal children and young people, including physical, emotional, cognitive, cultural and spiritual elements – elements that are interdependent.
  • Providing every opportunity for a child to be raised within their own family, community, culture and on Country where they are cared for in safe and nurturing homes, by relatives and kin who support and strengthen their identity and connections to family, and have every possible opportunity for their views to be sought and heard.

2. Case Management that facilitates Aboriginal family-led decision making.

  • Understanding that Aboriginal families and communities are critical to achieving the best outcomes for Aboriginal children, and empowering them to engage with risks or concerns to develop practical solutions for their children.
  • Building an inclusive network of care around the child, understanding what each person is able to bring to promote a positive outcome, and drawing on the collective wisdom and capacity of these networks to address the challenges that threaten the safety, welfare and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people.

3. Case Management that values community involvement, including self-determination and advocacy.

  • Empowering Aboriginal communities, through their own processes, to safeguard the rights of Aboriginal children and young people and their families, including participation in decision making and advocating on behalf of their children and families; acknowledging and valuing the important strengths and assets of Aboriginal communities that strengthen Aboriginal people and families.
  • Upholding Aboriginal self-determination, the collective right of communities to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and to develop and implement their own processes, services, supports and frameworks that sit around Aboriginal children and families.

4. Case Management that is culturally embedded.

  • Respecting and valuing the perspectives, beliefs, lived experiences and values of Aboriginal people, families, children and young people and communities.
  • Recognises the importance of culture in the lifelong wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people, strengthening identity, belonging and sense of purpose, and that all systems, processes and practices are underpinned by this, including through meaningful care and cultural support planning.

5. Case Management that delivers holistic services tailored to the needs of Aboriginal children and families.

  • Provides a key point of contact and case coordination (including soft entry and 'no wrong door' referral processes) and wraps the relevant services around Aboriginal children and families.
  • Prioritises an integrated local Aboriginal service system centred around Aboriginal children and families, with streamlined information sharing and referral pathways to deliver the services children and families need, when they are needed.

6. Case Management that is oriented to prevent harm and preserve families.

  • Supporting families to address the underlying causes of risk (including intergenerational trauma, marginalisation and disadvantage associated with colonisation).
  • Engaging proactive efforts to strengthen families, minimise the incidence of harm and foster resilience for Aboriginal children and their families, taking proactive steps to minimise disruption and disconnection experienced by Aboriginal children as a result of statutory intervention.

7. Case Management that is accountable to Aboriginal peoples for the outcomes achieved for Aboriginal children and their families.

  • Engaging openly with Aboriginal community controlled mechanisms that oversees compliance with the Aboriginal Case Management Policy, including family and community participation in decision making and proactive efforts to support Aboriginal children and families.
  • Promoting openness, honesty and transparency as key values in case management and accountability to Aboriginal children, families and communities.
Last updated:

24 Feb 2023

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future. 

Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.

You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.

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