This page was last updated 16 May 2019.

  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (Aboriginal)

    A person who:

    • is a descendant of the Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia; and
    • regards themself as Aboriginal or, if they are a young child, is regarded as Aboriginal by at least 1 of their parents

    AND/OR

    A person who:

    • is a descendant of the indigenous inhabitants of the Torres Strait Islands; and
    • regards themself as Torres Strait Islander or, if they are a young child, is regarded as Torres Strait Islander by at least 1 of their parents.

    Refer to Aboriginal Requirements.

  • Advocacy

    Helping carers have an effective voice in matters that affect them and the children and young people in their care. Advocacy provides carers with the opportunity to participate in decisions that impact upon them, and aims to ensure their rights as carers are promoted and protected.

  • Advocacy Services

    Includes:

    • A state authority established under the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 (SA) to undertake advocacy functions in relation to the rights, development and wellbeing of children and young people.
    • A peak body representative of sector and/or consumer groups engaged in systemic advocacy of behalf of their members or cohorts; offering DCP a mechanism for engagement, information sharing, research and policy development.
  • Approved Carer

    A person who provides Out-of Home Care to a Child or Young Person and is approved by the DCP Carer Approval and Review Unit (CARU) under section 72 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.  Refer to Carer and Personnel Requirements.

  • Birth Family

    The child's biological family.

  • CALD

    The acronym for 'culturally and linguistically diverse' relating to individuals, families and communities from multicultural backgrounds.  (NB. Not inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture). Refer to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Requirements.

  • Care Concern

    The following criteria has been met as described by the Care Concern Management Unit of the Department for Child Protection:

    1. The child is subject to any South Australian care and protection order or placement authority; and
    2. The child is placed in out-of-home care; and
    3. There is an allegation that the child has been abused or neglected or there is a breach in the standard of out-of-home care; and
    4. The abuse/neglect or breach relates to the care provided by DCP personnel or volunteers or out-of-home care services by any other agency on behalf of the Minister for Child Protection/Chief Executive.
  • Care Team

    The group of people who share the responsibility for the care and development of the Child or Young person, including involvement in case planning. The care team can include the child or young person, birth family, approved carer(s), DCP caseworker/Supervisor, placement support workers, other key professions and natural helpers.

  • Carer Assessment

    Carer applicants must be assessed with a departmentally-endorsed assessment tool. Refer to Carer and Personnel Requirements.

    Licensed foster care agencies are responsible for conducting foster care assessments, facilitating the carer applicants gaining a DHS working with children check and completing all mandatory requirements (other than DCP records checks) for carer approval. Once these have been completed, the application must be provided to CARU.

  • Case Plan

    Case Plans are developed to drive purposeful intervention with children and families. Section 28(1) of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 requires the preparation and maintenance of a case plan for all children and young people under guardianship or custody pursuant to the Act (excluding those placed under Long-Term Guardianship (Specified Person)) or placed with approved carers. Case plans are also required for children and young people with a family preservation case under DCP Practice Guidance.

  • Carer Review

    Ongoing carer reviews are mandated under section 73 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 and will be conducted by the supporting external service provider in the carer’s home, within timeframes specified by DCP. Carer reviews must be conducted annually, with the first review due 12 months from the date of carer approval. Reviews may be required at other times, as a result of a Care Concern or a carer request to transfer agency.

  • Child or Young Person

    A person who is under 18 years of age.

  • Children's Residential Facility Licence

    A licence for a facility issued in accordance with section 51 of the Family and Community Services Act 1972 or section 105 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.

  • Client

    People that are known to DCP. This can include adults, children, young people, carers and their family members. It is noted that this includes people who are currently receiving services through DCP, previously received services or are known to the DCP through other connections or involvement.

  • Complexity Assessment Tool (CAT)

    A screening instrument that measures the behavioural and special needs of children and young people. It assesses and scores children across specific areas of behaviour and need to assist in identifying what services and supports are required to facilitate successful placement in alternative care.

    Children are grouped according to their level of need as belonging to one of four groups. These are:

    • Level 1: Minor or no problems
    • Level 2: Moderate problems
    • Level 3: Significant problems
    • Level 4: Extreme problems.
  • Critical Incident

    An event that involves an injury or potential for injury, and/or a strong stress reaction in a child or personnel. These are occurrences that are clearly out of the ordinary and include such situations as:

    • Injury to a child or carer requiring treatment by a doctor or attendance of an ambulance
    • ‘Risky’ behaviour that places the child, carer or others including the community at risk
    • Running away from placement
    • Assaults on a child or carer
    • Damage to property
    • All incidents that require police attendance, medical assistance or fire
    • All incidents involving protective physical intervention or evasion of a child
    • All incidents deemed critical by the caseworker or after hours Crisis Response Unit (CRU).
  • Case Worker

    The allocated worker who is responsible for case management and casework activities including, but not limited to:

    • advocacy for the best interests of the child
    • contact with child, carer, birth family and other professionals
    • completion of case plans, assessments and referrals
    • attending meetings and consultations in relation to the child’s case
    • ensuring that case notes and records are maintained.
  • DCP Case Worker

    An DCP employee allocated to carry out the powers and responsibilities for provision for the care of a child or young person who is in the custody, or under the guardianship of the Chief Executive.

  • Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    Department for Child Protection is the administrative unit of the Public Service specified by the Minister by notice in the Gazette to carry out the requirements of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (SA) - to protect children and young people from harm; to provide for children and young people who are in care; and for other purposes. Refer to https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/

  • Equal Remuneration Order (ERO)

    Pay rates for some employees in the social and community services industry are gradually increasing under the Equal Remuneration Order made by the Fair Work Commission.

  • Evidence informed practice

    Using evidence to identify the potential benefits, harms and costs of any intervention and also acknowledging that what works in one context may not be appropriate or feasible in another.

  • Exit Interview

    The process for gathering feedback from carers at the end of their carer role to improve aspects of service, better retain carers, and reduce further exits.

  • Family Based Care

    A placement in the home of a carer who is reimbursed (or who has been offered but declined reimbursement) for expenses for the care of the child. This is broken down into 4 subcategories: General Foster Care, Specialist Foster Care, Kinship Care and Specific Child Only care.

  • Family Preservation

    DCP cases for children and young people that have had a completed investigation and assessment phase and remain living in the family home. Family preservation case managers work intensively and in partnership with families and funded NGO support services providers to strengthen and preserve the family unit to reduce the risk of future abuse and enable children to remain safely in the home.

  • Family Support Services

    The activities associated with the provision of lower level (that is, non-intensive) services to families in need, including identification and assessment of family needs, provision of support and diversionary services, some counselling and acting linking and referrals to support networks. These types of services are funded by government but can be delivered by a child protection agency or a non-government organisation.

    These services are typically delivered via voluntary arrangements (as distinct from court orders) between the relevant agency and family. This suite of services does not typically involve planned follow-up by the applicable child protection agency after initial service referral or delivery.

  • Foster Care Agency

    A Service Provider.

  • Foster Care Agency Licence

    A licence for a foster care agency issued in accordance with section 99 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.

  • Foster Carer

    A trained and approved person (not being a guardian, relative or kin of a child) who provides overnight care, typically in their own home, for a child or young person under custody or guardianship of the Chief Executive. Foster carers must be assessed and supported by a licensed foster care agency that has responsibility for facilitating placements of children under custody or guardianship of the Chief Executive.

    Carer assessment and approval processes need to be completed and endorsed by the delegate of the CE prior to the placement of children with a foster carer.

  • Foster, kinship and specific child only (SCO) carers

    (While being 3 distinct categories of Family Based Care) provide family-based care in their own homes, for children under custody or guardianship of the Chief Executive, with the assistance of a regular subsidy (which may be declined) and regular placement support from either a licensed foster care agency or DCP’s kinship care program.

  • Foster Care

    A form of out-of-home care where the caregiver is authorised and reimbursed (or was offered but declined reimbursement) by the state/territory for the care of the child. This category excludes relatives/kin who are reimbursed.

  • Guardianship authority

    Children that are subject to a Care and Protection order placing them under the Guardianship of the Chief Executive (formerly the Minister) subject to section 37 of the Children's Protection Act 1993 or section 53 of the Children and Young People Safety Act 2017.

    Guardianship orders involve the transfer of legal guardianship to the relevant state or territory department or non-government agency. These orders involve considerable intervention in the child’s life and that of their family, and are sought only as a last resort. Guardianship orders convey responsibility for the welfare of the child to the guardian (for example, regarding the child’s education, health, religion, accommodation and financial matters). They do not necessarily grant the right to the daily care and control of the child, or the right to make decisions about the daily care and control of the child, which are granted under custody orders.

  • Hours of Operation

    The hours during the day in which business is commonly conducted.

  • Immediate Response

    Requires the provision of a short term placement for a child or young person in an emergency. These placements are unplanned and require an immediate short term placement from the Service Provider within 48 hours.

  • Kinship Care

    A kinship carer may be directly related to the child in their care by blood, marriage, own community or according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture and kinship rules. A person may also be considered a kinship carer in instances where they have a close, family-like relationship with the child or where there is a close, long-standing connection to the child’s family of origin, as determined by the department. In relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kinship care, consideration of who is ‘kin’ to a child is the decision and responsibility of the family and those with cultural authority for the child. A kinship carer is authorised and reimbursed (or was offered but declined reimbursement) by the state/territory for the care of the child.

  • Kinship carer

    A kinship carer is a person approved to provide care, in their own home, to one or more specific children with whom they have a family or kinship connection. A kinship carer may be directly related to the children in their care by blood, marriage, own community or according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture and kinship rules. A person may also be considered a kinship carer in instances where they have a close, family-like relationship with the child or where there is a close, long-standing connection to the child’s family of origin, as determined by the department. In relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kinship care, consideration of who is ‘kin’ to a child is the decision and responsibility of the family and those with cultural authority for the child. Kinship carers must be supported by DCP, through the kinship care program, except in instances where placement support has been negotiated with a foster care agency.

    A temporary placement may be made with a person who fits the definition of kinship carer, subject to placement criteria being met, as specified in section 77 of the CYPS Act, with carer approval processes to be completed within 3 months of the placement start date.

  • Life story collection

    A collection of records relating to a child or young person's history and personal development, designed to help them maintain a connection to their family, origins, culture and to recognise milestones, achievements and other significant events across their lifespan.

    Specific, connected and integrated aspects of life including physical, social, psychological and environmental factors as well as legal, educational, health, employment and socio-economic systems used to assess developmental needs, strengths and progress against a person's age and stage of development.

    A life story book is available for Aboriginal children and young people tailored to their own nation and connecting them to Aboriginal history and culture.

  • Long term guardian

    A specified person or persons (not exceeding 2) appointed by the Youth Court under an order placing the child or young person under their guardianship until they attain 18 years of age in accordance with section 53(1)(h) of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.

  • Long Term Placement

    This is a planned placement to provide a safe, nurturing and sustainable home based placement for children and young people until the child/young person turns 18 years of age.

  • Long-term guardianship (specified person)

    An application made under section 91 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (the Act) to transfer guardianship from the Chief Executive and place a child or young person in the long-term guardianship (to age 18) of an approved carer in accordance with sections 89 and 90 of the Act.

  • NDIS

    The National Disability Insurance Scheme, providing funding of supports and services for Australians aged under 65 who have a permanent and significant disability. Refer to https://www.ndis.gov.au/

  • NDIS Plan

    People with disability who become participants in the NDIS will receive a plan. The plan may include a mix of informal supports (friends and families), community and other government services and funded supports.

  • Out of Home Care

    Out of home care as defined by section 69 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 means—

    (a) care provided to a child or young person where—

    (i) the child or young person is under the guardianship or custody of the Chief Executive; and

    (ii) the care is provided by a person with whom the child or young person is placed pursuant to section 84; and

    (iii) the care is provided on a residential basis in premises other than the child's home; and

    (iv) the provider of the care receives, or may receive, payment, or financial or other assistance, in relation to the care provided; or

    (b) any other care of a kind declared by the regulations to be included in the ambit of this definition, but does not include care of a kind declared by the regulations to be excluded from the ambit of this definition.

  • Peer support

    The process of carers sharing experiences and providing knowledge, emotional, social or practical help to other carers through knowledge formed by similar experience.

  • Placement preservation

    Actions taken by members of a child or young person's care team to sustain the continued placement of a child or young person within a current carer household. May include additional support, training, resolution of problems, maintaining contact during other periods and types of care.

  • Placement Support Worker

    A person who is employed by a foster care agency to provide regular support to approved carers in relation to the placement and provision of care for children and young people.

  • Quarter

    The three-month period commencing 1 January, 1 April, 1 July and 1 October in each year.

  • Referral

    A request for services from the DCP Placement Services Unit or Crisis Response Unit.

  • Remoteness

    The remoteness geographic areas are determined by the Australian Government Department of Health. The remoteness loading classification for each carer household can be determined by entering a carer household address into this locator tool and selecting “ASGS Remoteness Areas (2016)” as the search layer. Refer to the Health Workforce Locator.

  • Residential care

    A placement in a residential building whose purpose is to provide placements for children and where there are paid personnel.

  • Respite Care

    Respite placements are planned for scheduled, agreed periods of time based on an assessment to support the child and carer.

  • Reunification

    Reunification is a planned process to safely return a child home after a period of time in care to be with their birth parent(s), family, or former guardian (and enabling a child to stay). This occurs when it is in the child’s best interests, and where it will safeguard their long-term stability and permanency. Reunification can only be made to the parent/carer that the child was initially removed from. A child exiting out of home care to be placed with another parent or carer is defined as unification rather than reunification.

  • Reunification Services

    For children and young people to reconnect with their families and return safely to a stable home environment. May involve support and services to strengthen family relationships and improve parenting capacity with DCP providing case management and funded NGOs providing support services.

  • SA Government Regions

    The South Australian regions as determined by South Australian Government convention. Refer to Data SA's SA Government Regions.

  • Service Provider

    The Not for Profit (NFP) organisation named in the NFP Agreement, or the Party named in the Goods and Services Agreement.

  • Service Provider Personnel

    For NFP agreements means NFP Personnel, or for Service & Goods agreements means Supplier Personnel. Includes all employees, agents, consultants, contractors or subcontractors employed or engaged by the Service Provider in respect of the Services (including any person assisting in the provision of services in a voluntary capacity or as a volunteer, and any students on placement with the Service Provider).

  • Short Term Placement

    Care for children and young people up to 18 months.

  • Specialist Placement

    A planned placement for children and young people with complex needs, moderate to high physical and/or intellectual disability, who are in need of higher levels of support, from both the carer and their support Team.  Specialist carers are provided with additional training and support to help meet the needs of the child in their care.

  • Specialist Support Person (for Specialist Foster Care)

    A person who is employed or engaged by a specialist foster care agency to provide specialist support to approved carers in relation to the placement and provision of care for children and young people.

  • Specific Child Only (SCO)

    A category of approved carer, as established by the Chief Executive under section 70(1) of the CYPS Act. An SCO carer is defined as a person approved to provide care, in their own home, to a specific child or children with whom they have a connection (that does not fit the definition of kinship care) through their personal, professional or ethno-specific community life (which includes sharing a cultural, ethnic or religious community connection with the child), without, in some instances, directly knowing the child or the child’s family. The definition of a specific child only carer includes a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural background that is not known to the child and is not considered kin by the family or those with cultural authority for the child. Examples include a teacher, nurse, child care worker, DCP staff member, neighbour, or sporting club member.

  • Specific Child Only Carer

    A person approved to provide care, in their own home, to a specific child or children with whom they have a connection (that does not fit the definition of kinship care) through their personal, professional or ethno-specific community life (which includes sharing a cultural, ethnic or religious community connection with the child), without, in some instances, directly knowing the child or the child’s family. The definition of a specific child only carer includes a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural background that is not known to the child and is not considered kin by the family or those with cultural authority for the child. A specific child only carer is authorised and reimbursed (or was offered but declined reimbursement) by the state/territory for the care of the child.

  • Training

    Training provided or arranged by the Service Provider and includes:

    1. the process of imparting information, knowledge and skills required for the provision of the Services;
    2. where appropriate, internal training and external training such as formal accreditation programs through recognised tertiary institutions or competency-based training; and
    3. where appropriate, the input of information, experiential learning, group tasks and case studies, elective topics relevant to the type of care being provided in all areas essential to deal with the legal and welfare requirements of Children and Young People.
  • Transition Plan

    The planned arrangements for a change to a child or young person's living arrangements and/or transition from care made in consultation with the child or young person and in accordance with the requirements of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (SA). The plan setting out steps to assist a young person aged 16 (and up to age 25) make their transition from care, with provision of information and assistance.