Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Family Participation Program

We are establishing the Family Participation Program (FPP) to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to participate in child protection decision-making.

The focus of the program is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families with children and young people under the age of 18 years including those who are at risk of being the subject of a child protection notification or who are already subject to intervention by the statutory child protection system.

Family in this context is defined broadly to include extended kin relationships and significant individuals from the child’s community.

The FPP will commence at the same time as the Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2017 is proclaimed and will support the primary principle that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have the right to self-determination, and the implementation of the 5 elements of the Child Placement Principle:

  • Prevention - that a child has the right to be brought up within the child’s own family and community.
  • Participation - that a child and the child’s parents and family members have the right to participate in an administrative or judicial process for making a significant decision about a child.
  • Partnership - that Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander peoples have the right to participate in significant decisions under the Child Protection Act 1999 about Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children, including the design and delivery of programs and services.
  • Placement - that if a child is to be placed in care, the child has a right to be placed with a member of the child’s family group. 
  • Connection - that a child has a right to be supported to develop and maintain a connection with the child’s family, community, culture, traditions and language.

A key function of the FPP will be the facilitation of independent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Led Decision Making (ATSIFLDM), a process whereby authority is given to parents, families and children to work together to solve problems and lead decision-making in a culturally safe space. 

This program will operate to keep children safe in a way that optimises a families’ participation and confidence in the process while meeting any statutory requirements.

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