A message to our carers about the return to school, COVIDKids service and answers to frequently asked questions.
Return to school
The Premier has announced a staged return to school to minimise the peak of COVID cases in South Australia and help keep our community as safe as possible.
Importantly, schools will be open for children and young people in care and for children of essential workers from Monday 31 January 2022. This is in place for all year levels as well as preschool/kindergarten.
You can find out more about the Education Department’s plan for the start of Term 1 2022 here. It is expected that Catholic Education SA and independent schools will follow the same approach.
We will keep you updated as more information comes to hand.
It can be an anxious time for carers when a child or young person in their care tests positive for COVID-19.
To help carers manage the virus in the home, the Women’s and Children’s Hospital has launched a dedicated virtual service called COVIDKids. This service provides specialist support to children, young people and their carers, by giving them direct online and phone access to experienced paediatric nurses and doctors.
It’s important to note this service is available by referral only.
The COVIDKids webpage also has some useful resources about managing COVID with children and young people in the home.
Frequently asked questions
We continue to receive questions about topics such as face-to-face visits, accessing Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and securing proof of a child or young person’s COVID-19 vaccination. We’ve included some information below to help with these common questions.
Remember, you can always discuss any of these topics or other questions you may have with your DCP caseworker or support agency.
We will continue to keep you updated as information changes.
Accessing Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)
Two free RAT kits will also be available for people who are considered a close contact of a person who tests positive for COVID-19. You must register here to pick up these kits. They are currently available from the collection point at Josie Agius Park, in the Adelaide CBD’s southern parklands. For more information on this, visit SA Health’s website.
From Tuesday 24 January 2022, concession card holders can access up to 10 free Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) at participating chemists over three months (maximum five per concession card holder, per month).
Information about where to access these free RAT tests (for eligible people) will be made available on www.sa.gov.au
COVID-19 vaccination certificates for children in care
For children under the age of 14 years, please speak to your caseworker to access a COVID-19 vaccination certificate through the child’s My Health Record.
If a young person is over the age of 14, they have the right (under Commonwealth law) to manage their own My Health Record. Please speak to your caseworker about setting up the young person’s My Gov account to access their COVID-19 vaccination certificate.
Face to face visits
DCP staff and your support agency continue to be committed to support you safely. Home visits, family contact arrangements and reunification services and support will continue where it is safe and appropriate to do so.
Staff will be screening each visit, as well as wearing masks and social distancing. All DCP and support agency staff visiting carers and children are required to be fully vaccinated.
Several carers have asked if there will be a dedicated vaccination hub for children and young people in care.
We are working closely with SA Health to have mobile vaccination specific sites visit particular locations throughout South Australia. If you need assistance accessing vaccination for a child or young person, please contact your DCP caseworker or support worker in the first instance.
SA Health also has a large number of existing vaccination sites and mobile clinics. You can view the full list here.
With the return to school fast approaching, the need for eligible children and young people to get vaccinated is more important than ever.
It is the department’s position that all eligible children and young people (unless medically contraindicated) should have access to and receive the COVID-19 vaccination. As the guardian of children and young people in care, the department gives its consent for all children and young people under guardianship of the Chief Executive to be vaccinated if they are eligible for it.
Young people over the age of 16 years can make decisions about their own medical treatment. To help them make an informed choice about vaccinations, case workers and carers should ensure young people have access to age-appropriate information about being vaccinated and the benefits of a COVID-19 vaccination.
Vaccinations are now available for children aged 5 and up. An additional 2,000 appointments are now available each week for children aged 5-11 at the Wayville vaccination hub.
We understand it can be difficult to get an appointment but please keep checking as new appointments are brought online.
For those who are interested, Wellbeing SA is holding a series of online Building Vaccine Confidence Training sessions which carers can attend. You can find out more and book here.
COVID-19 booster vaccine
All people aged 18 and over who have had their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least four months ago are eligible for a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 booster dose.
Find a clinic by visiting the SA Health vaccination clinics and sites page.
A dedicated booster vaccination clinic for people aged 18 and over is now open at the Netball SA Stadium in Mile End. Bookings are essential: www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/covidvaccine