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Child protection and out of home care services remain open
Keeping children safe and supported is an essential focus for the ACT while we all work through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS) are continuing to operate. You can find information specific to how CYPS is continuing to work to support children, young people, their families and their carers in the ‘Children and families’ section on the COVID-19 community service information web page. It also includes information on continued support for young people involved with the youth justice system. We will continue to update our information to keep you informed of what we are doing so please bookmark the page and visit it regularly. Go to COVID-19 community service information.
Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS) has a statutory responsibility to support children, young people and families requiring a care or justice response. In doing this CYPS works to deliver good client outcomes through providing a response that focuses on:
- Transition and Permanency
- Trauma Informed Practice
CYPS is the statutory child protection agency which services the ACT region. CYPS has legislative responsibility under the Children and Young People Act 2008 for facilitating and coordinating services across government for the care and protection of children and young people believed to be at risk of harm. This involves assessing risk and working with families and other professionals to resolve issues that compromise the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. CYPS provides a continuum of service delivery to children and young people considered ‘at risk’ of serious abuse and harm.
Children and Young People are safe, strong and connected.
Child and Youth Protection Services works in partnership with:
- the community to protect children and young people from being harmed and from harming others
- families and carers to ensure children and young people are safe and achieve the best possible life outcomes.
CYPS works with our community partners to provide a service response that focuses on the following areas.
- Connecting children and young people with the right services at the right time to support them
- Diverting young people from custody
- Supporting families to keep them strong and safe
- Supervising young people on justice orders
- Keeping children and young people safe from harm
- Supporting and encouraging young people to do no harm
- Assessing and investigating child concern reports
- Providing a safe custodial environment
- Helping children and young people to be reunified with their families and restored to their home
- Helping families to support a smooth and successful restoration
- Providing rehabilitation and support programs to prevent young people from reoffending
Transition & Permanency
- Helping young people transition successfully to living as independent adults
- Preparing children, young people and their support networks as they transition from care
- Supporting children and young people to have permanent, stable homes
- Working with foster and kinship carers to provide children and young people with a ‘normal’ life
- Supporting adoptions
- Providing therapeutic assessment for all children and young people in our care
- Providing culturally sensitive trauma informed support
- Preventing escalation of anti-social or offending behaviour
CYPS receives reports of concern relating to the safety and well-being of children and young people. Concerns may be related to:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse (including exposure to family violence)
- Sexual Abuse
Find out more about reporting child abuse and neglect.
The Structure of Children and Youth Protection Services is divided into two areas:
- Operations: to focus on the day to day work with children, young people, families and communities
- Practice and Performance: to provide the supporting functions needed to ensure best practice and continuously improve to provide effective therapeutic responses to meet the needs of our clients
CYPS aims to build relationships with the community and work collaboratively to achieve positive outcomes for our clients. This is especially important when considering effective strategies to ensure children’s safety, or divert children and young people from the justice system.
CYPS provides regionally focused support, and as such is organised around the North and South regions of the ACT. This allows us to build stronger, more meaningful relationships within our communities.
Our Case Management teams are responsible for delivering best practices in statutory service provision to children and young people. This is done through child centred case management and coordination functions including facilitating case conferences, supporting restoration and reunification, including transitions from care.
One of our key responsibilities is to ensure young people are diverted from the justice system. We do this through supervision of young people who are on community youth justice orders, supporting court processes, connecting young people with services and making decisions in accordance with principles and statutory obligations.