This page was last updated 18 April 2019.

DCP Multicultural Services is a unit within the department that provides a state-wide service and operates under a child centred, family-focused and community minded framework with culturally sound practice and trauma informed engagement.

Multicultural Services provides an alternative response to families and communities from CALD backgrounds, which encompasses an educative approach that aims to increase their understanding of the child protection system in Australia.

The program assists CALD families to access a wide range of support services that cater for individual and family needs, promoting the family to remain together in a safe and stable environment, while also addressing any child protection concerns.

Families and communities are encouraged to participate in the process of addressing child protection concerns, however the program is voluntary and families consent to be involved.

The unit also provides cultural consultation to external and internal agencies and support community child safety initiatives.

When placing culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) children in out of home care, the Service Provider will adhere to the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 Part 3 (10) (c) Principles of Intervention which states:

"Account should be taken of the culture, disability, language and religion of children or young people, and if relevant, those in whose care children and young people are placed"

Specifically, placement of CALD children in out of home care is prioritised as:

  1. a member of the child's family
  2. any person nominated as family by virtue of migration, visa or sponsorship*
  3. a member of the child's cultural, ethnic, language and religious community, with consideration for caste and tribal groups
  4. a member of the child's cultural heritage / ethnic origin
  5. a member of the child's religious community; or as a last resort,
  6. an available carer who will support the child's ongoing connection with the child's CALD culture.

*Children may arrive in Australia with individuals who are not biologically related to them, however are considered or identified as family on the basis of their refugee or migrant experience.

1. The Service Provider will be sensitive to the linguistic, cultural and religious diversity of children and will acknowledge the importance of these factors in planning and delivery culturally competent services.

2. The Service Provider will involve relevant members of the child's community and extended family as appropriate and use interpreters in communication with the child and family (refer to the South Australian Interpreting and Translating Policy for Migrant and Non-Verbal (sign) Languages).

3. The Service Provider will develop links with culturally appropriate services as soon as a child is placed in care, or as soon as they become aware of the child's linguistic, cultural or religious identity.

4. The Service Provider will ensure staff receive adequate information or training on culturally sensitive caring, to ensure that a child's cultural values, beliefs and practices are respected and upheld.

5. The Service Provider will ensure when a child is placed in home-based care that the carer is informed of specific aspects of a child's culture or religious identity, such as dietary laws, religious customs and beliefs and religious requirements, such as appropriate dress and behaviour.

  • At the earliest possible time, carers will receive additional information or training concerning specific cultural issues, as required. Service Provider to work in partnership with DCP Regional Office to develop and maintain the Cultural Maintenance Plan as per the Children and Young People (Safety) Act Part 3. 28 (2)(b).

6. The Service Provider must obtain a working knowledge and understanding of clients' racial and cultural affiliations, identities, values, beliefs and customs by attending training and forums that promote awareness of cultural and cross-cultural issues and culturally competent practice.

  • The Service Provider will seek guidance regarding service development and delivery from community members, mentors, advisors and recognised Elders from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
  • DCP Multicultural Services can assist in coordinating consultation and advice on service development and delivery (

Culture - refers to distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterise a society or social group, not limited to the arts and letters, and including modes of life, the fundamental rights of the human being, value systems, traditions and beliefs.

Cultural heritage - refers to an expression of the ways of living developed by a community and passed on from generation to generation, including customs, practices, places, objects, artistic expressions and values.

Ethic origin - refers to the ancestral race that an individual belongs to, as opposed to their cultural nationality. People derived from a variety of ethnic origin types:

  • African - a person who originated from any of the 54 countries within the continent of Africa
  • Asian - a person who originated from countries located from the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent (Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Phillipine Islands, Thailand and Vietnam)
  • Middle Eastern - the Middle East is the areas around the eastern Mediterranean that comprises 20 countries
  • Latino - a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American or other Spanish culture or origin
  • Pacific Islander - a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Guam, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji or other Pacific Islands.

Ethnicity - refers to the shared identity or similarity of a group of people on the basis of one or more factors. These factors can include:

  • a long shared history, the memory of which is kept alive
  • a cultural tradition, including family and social customs, sometimes religiously based
  • a common geographic origin
  • a common language (but not necessarily limited to that group)
  • a common literature (written or oral)
  • a common religion
  • being a minority (often with a sense of being oppressed)
  • being racially conspicuous.

Religion - refers to a personal set of institutionalised system of religious attitudes, beliefs and practices.