Planning for Aboriginal children - advice

This advice provides additional information regarding case planning for Aboriginal children subject to a protection order.
Document ID number 2303, version 2, 1 March 2016.

See procedure Case planning for Aboriginal children for tasks that must be undertaken.

In addition to the best interests principles (s. 10 CYFA) and the decision-making principles (s. 11 CYFA), further specific principles for Aboriginal children are set out in ss. 12-14 of the CYFA.


Where a child is Aboriginal, child protection practitioners and managers should be aware of the requirements of the VACCA (pdf, 163.81 KB) protocol.

Unless objected to by the child or their family, the Aboriginal Child Specialist Advice and Support Service (ACSASS) will be directly involved in all formal decision-making processes including Aboriginal family-led decision making (AFLDM) meetings. A child and their family are entitled to refuse the direct involvement of an ACSASS worker in case planning meetings, however child protection must, in these circumstances, continue to consult with ACSASS concerning case planning decisions.

The role of ACSASS in the case plan process is to:

  • assist in identifying the goals and key changes required to achieve those goals  
  • assist in identifying the activities and tasks necessary to bring about change  
  • provide support to the parents and family to facilitate their understanding of the case plan, the goals and tasks in the actions table 
  • assist in identifying and locating family members who can help provide support and assistance to the child and their parents  
  • assist in identifying culturally appropriate services to undertake specific activities and responsibilities  
  • assist in identifying relevant members of the child's Aboriginal community to be involved in case planning decisions.

In accordance with the best interests principles, in the case of an Aboriginal child, the direct involvement of an ACSASS worker in case planning decisions does not replace the involvement of other members of the Aboriginal community to which the child belongs.

Where a case planning decision involves the placement of an Aboriginal child in out-of-home care, child protection will consult with ACSASS. ACSASS will assist in identifying a placement for the child, which complies with the Aboriginal child placement principle. ACSASS will also support the development of a cultural plan.