Decision-making from a carer’s perspective

When you care for children and young people you give them safety, security and an opportunity to heal. We recognise that you best understand their needs and have valuable insights into decisions about the health, safety and wellbeing of the child or young person in your care.

You can take part in decision-making in a way that works for you and the child. Let your case worker know how you prefer to communicate (eg email, phone, home visits, and care meetings) to share valuable information and contribute to plans about your child's life.

Children and young people in your care are also encouraged to take part in decisions about their health, safety and wellbeing. You will be able to determine if a child is ready to be part of this process. If there is a language barrier, interpreting and translation services are available.

Contact arrangements with family

Decisions about contact arrangements are the responsibility of the Department for Child Protection (not the court).

The department makes decisions about contact arrangements in the best interests of the child. You can share your views about the arrangements and tell the department how a child copes before and after they return from family visits.

The department has the responsibility to also consider the views of the parents, family and the child.

Delegation of power

If you’re not sure what decisions you can make, refer to the “Who can say OK?” booklet (PDF, 4.0 MB). It provides guidance on who can approve decisions on issues such as:

  • daily routines
  • medical and dental treatment
  • occasional baby sitting
  • school enrolment.

If you want to take on more decision-making responsibility, the department's Chief Executive may support this. They may give you extra powers to make decisions which will help to:

  • reduce delays in decision-making
  • increase a child or young person’s sense of belonging and connectedness to their carer family
  • normalise a child or young person’s experience in out-of-home care.