The department is committed to working with Aboriginal children and families in a culturally appropriate manner. This page explains some of the ways the department is working to deliver on this commitment.

If you are a carer of an Aboriginal child or young person, visit the Caring for Aboriginal children and young people webpage for more information and resources.

Aboriginal Child Placement Principle

The Aboriginal Child Placement Principle recognises that Aboriginal people have the knowledge and experience to make the best decisions about Aboriginal children and recognises the importance of each child staying connected to family, community, culture and Country. The Principle has a precursor and five core elements (PDF, 394.3 KB):

  • Precursor: Identification
  • Element 1: Prevention
  • Element 2: Partnership
  • Element 3: Placement
  • Element 4: Participation
  • Element 5: Connection.

The Principle forms an integral part of the department’s Practice Approach, and guidance on implementation is provided for workers in the Manual of Practice. It also forms the basis of DCP’s Aboriginal Action Plan.

Aboriginal Cultural Identity Support Tool

The Aboriginal Cultural Identity Support Tool (ACIST) ensures that every Aboriginal child in care has an opportunity to build and maintain connections to family, community and culture. Cultural maintenance planning for Aboriginal children in care is a matter of priority and is a requirement under the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.

The ACIST is included in case plans for Aboriginal children and young people and is vital to the delivery of culturally appropriate services because it:

  • Aligns with the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle
  • Captures information about the child's family, community and personal history
  • Helps increase the knowledge and understanding of the child's place in their family, kinship and community structure
  • Supports the child's understanding of their cultural heritage
  • Documents key family members and other significant community members and relationships that the child should be supported to maintain contact with
  • Identifies opportunities for participation in activities and experiences that maintain links with family, community and culture.

Family, carers, and children and young people in care are encouraged to contact their case worker if they have questions about the ACIST.

Aboriginal Life Story work

All Aboriginal children and young people in care are provided with a life story book .

Family, carers, and children and young people in care are encouraged to contact their case worker if they have questions about Aboriginal Life Story Books.

More information

Family Matters: Strong Communities. Strong Culture. Stronger Children is Australia’s national campaign to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture.

The Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People promotes and advocates for the rights and interests of all Aboriginal children and young people in South Australia.

Kinship Care

Kinship care is the preferred out-of-home care placement option for Aboriginal children and young people to ensure the best opportunity to maintain connections to family and culture. Kinship carers of Aboriginal children and young people will receive culturally responsive support services to enable them to best support the child or young person in their care. This support service may be provided by the DCP Kinship Care Program or an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation.

Winangay Assessment

The department uses Winangay assessment tools for kinship carer assessments and reviews. Some foster carers may also be assessed using Winangay. Winangay assessment tools are strengths based, trauma informed, evidence based and culturally appropriate for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal carers.

The assessment tools include picture cards that are used with carers to talk about their strengths, worries and concerns about providing care.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations

The department recognises that Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) are best placed to provide culturally appropriate services, and is committed to investing in ACCOs.

The department currently partners with the following ACCOs to provide services for Aboriginal children and families. Referral to these services usually occurs via a case manager or support worker.

Aboriginal Family Support Services

Aboriginal Family Support Services (AFSS) provides family based foster care and family reunification services across South Australia. It also provides community safety and wellbeing programs, intensive family services, kinship care supports, residential care services, crisis accommodation and gambling help services.

Phone: (08) 8205 1500

Bookyana Cultural & Community Services

Bookyana Cultural & Community Services provides a unique service as an Aboriginal controlled NDIS service provider. Bookyana offers a range of services including specialist support coordination, coordination of supports, case management, exploring housing options, behavioural supports including functional assessments and support plans, and allied health services.

Phone: (08) 8448 2880


InComPro offers a variety of services and resources to assist and support Aboriginal people and communities including youth services, disability services and cultural awareness training. InComPro also provides kinship care support services to carers of Aboriginal children and young people.

Phone: (08) 7324 5072


KWY works to improve the safety of Aboriginal children and young people, and to support Aboriginal families to stay together sfaely, through delivery of Aboriginal-designed and led services. KWY also provides supports to kinship carers of Aboriginal children and young people.

Phone: (08) 8377 7822

Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council

The NPY Women’s Council is led by women’s law, authority and culture to deliver heath, social and cultural services for all Anangu in the NPY region. The NPY region crosses the borders of South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Phone: (08) 8958 2345

Nunkuwarrin Yunti

Nunkuwarrin Yunti is the largest Aboriginal community-controlled health service in South Australia. It offers a wide range of primary health, social and emotional wellbeing, health promotion and health training and development services.

Nunkuwarrin Yunti’s Link-Up SA Program provides family tracing, reunion and counselling services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families who have been separated under past policies and practices of the Australian Government. Assistance is also provided to people over the age of 18 years who have been adopted, fostered or raised in institutions.

Phone: (08) 8406 1600