In light of easing restrictions, we have revisited our advice regarding family contact for children and young people in care.
Family contact for children in care has recently occurred through alternative channels such as video chats, phone calls, photographs and written updates. This decision was made to keep children and young people, you as their carers and their families safe and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak.
However, in light of easing restrictions, we have revisited our advice regarding family contact for children and young people in care.
Face-to-face contact can now resume if it is considered to be in the best interests of the individual child or young person, following a risk assessment by each child’s case manager.
If face-to-face contact is in the child’s best interest, and if DCP is facilitating the contact, all people involved must agree to maintain social distancing wherever possible and practice hand hygiene before and during the contact. Contact will be limited to 2 adults (excluding any supervisors) and should ideally occur outside or somewhere large enough to support social distancing. Case workers or the supervising worker will ask health screening questions to protect everyone involved.
If family contact is not facilitated by the department, such as in some kinship care placements, this will look different. Please talk to the child or young person’s case worker about resuming contact in these circumstances.
Where face-to-face contact is not in the child’s best interests, we will look at continuing with alternative contact arrangements. In these cases a new Contact Determination will need to be issued reflecting these arrangements.
If you have any questions about family contact for the child or young person in your care, please contact their case worker.