Stepping up for our Booris
A Step Up for Our Kids
A Step Up for Our Kids is the out of home care strategy in the ACT. It guides the work of Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS) when working with families whose children might be at risk of coming into care (foster, kinship and residential) and those who are in care. The next phase of A Step Up for Our Kids (2022-2032) is being carefully considered in the context of implementing the recommendations of the Our Booris, Our Way Final Report as well as extensive stakeholder consultation.
The central goal of the next phase of A Step Up for Our Kids is the need to reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, in out of home care and youth justice services. On this basis, we are focusing on the three key areas identified by Our Booris, Our Way:
- Reduce the number of children and young people in out of home care
- Improve the experiences of children and young people who are in care
- Increase pathways to exit care through restoration.
Under A Step Up for Our Kids the priority is for all children and young people to stay with, or return to, their families. We are committed to improving family finding to identify kinship carers, improving standards of Cultural Plans, family-led decision making, and improving access to advocacy and support services for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
We are also looking at increasing support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and what a new Aboriginal Controlled Organisation might look like.
Some of the services we already fund include:
- Family Group Conferencing
- Functional Family Therapy
- Cultural Services Team (CYPS)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff at the Australian Red Cross Birth Family Advocacy Support Service.
- Mother and Baby Unit at Karinya House.
Commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
As part of CYPS staff guidance, this is our commitment when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families:
We commit to use culturally responsive practice and active efforts to help us strive for cultural proficiency. We will work respectfully with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and partner with them in making decisions.
Working together for kids
The ‘Working together for kids’ series is a practical, easy to read set of guides to help families understand what happens when they are involved with Child and Youth Protection Services.
The guides answer a lot of questions, with each one focused on a different aspect of the child protection process. They aim to give parents and families straightforward, relevant and helpful information specific to their needs at the time they need it.
The guides include:
- Guide 1 – Child Concern Reports: What are they and what does it mean if someone makes a report about my child?
- Guide 2 – Going to court and working to reunite families: What’s involved and what can I do?
- Guide 3 – When children are in care: What happens with my child when they are in care and what can I do to have them come home?
- Guide 4 – Feedback and raising concerns: How can I let others know what I think?
- Guide 5 – Representing yourself in court: What do I need to know to navigate care and protection court processes?
The guides were created in partnership with the Australian Red Cross Birth Family Advocacy Support Service. This service provides independent advocacy, support, information and advice to families involved with Child and Youth Protection Services. It aims to empower families to effectively, and in an informed way, participate in the child protection process.
For hardcopies of the Working together for kids guides speak to:
- a Child and Youth Protection Services case manager on (02) 6207 1069 or (02) 6207 1466
- the Australian Red Cross Birth Family Advocacy Support Service on (02) 6234 7600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific publications
CYPS has developed a range of publications specific for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to support how we can work together. Specific policy documents providing CYPS staff guidance in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families have also been developed.
You can access these at Children and Families – Publications and CYPS policies and procedures.
Head to our dictionary to understand what different words mean in relation to child protection and family support matters. You can also find other various resources on our Publications page.
Child and Youth Protection Services
Find CYPS contact details at Contact us.
To make a Child Concern Report go to Report child abuse and neglect. Phone numbers are also available at Contact us.
To provide feedback or raise a complaint, go to Contact us.
Below are links to various agencies involved with CYPS or who can provide you with support and advice.
Page updated: 21 Mar 2022