Families and Carers


2018 Youth Roundtable – What we learnt

Last November, Children, Youth and Families (CYF) hosted a Youth Roundtable to hear directly from young people about their experiences of being in care and what they think would make a difference. The roundtable included young people currently in care or who have recently left care because they turned 18. It was facilitated by the Youth Coalition, CREATE and the Institute of Child Protection Studies.

The roundtable focused on the question, ‘What has been your experience of case planning?’ The main things young people told us, and want considered in future policy and practice development, were:

  • to have greater involvement and participation in decision-making
  • to understand why decisions were made
  • time to process and consider feedback and questions
  • to be provided with multiple opportunities to consider information
  • greater access to information
  • to be involved in policy development
  • more frequent and direct access with case managers
  • case managers to be powerful advocates
  • case managers to act with empathy and be trained in matters that impact young people, such as mental health
  • to be matched with their case manager and have continuity with them.

CYF is committed to act on what young people said. A number of projects underway have already been influenced by the feedback heard, including:

  • The design of a new client management system – CSD is about to launch a new IT system that will help to prioritise involving children and young people in decision making.
  • Embedding therapeutic trauma-informed practice – CSD is developing a trauma-informed poster about the young people’s feedback from the roundtable and how it can be used in practice.
  • Updating the CSD website – CSD is developing specific webpages for children and young people in care. Much of the feedback from the Roundtable can be incorporated into developing pages that help children and young people understand the care system and offer suggestions on how to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
  • Refreshing the ACT’s Charter of rights for kids in care – CSD is currently refreshing the ACT’s Charter of rights and will consider how the feedback can be used to promote the rights of all children and young people in care.

You can learn more about what young people told us by reading the:

If you have any questions please email CBRStepsUp@act.gov.au.

Carer Handbook: The 'Go-To Resource' for Kinship and Foster Carers in the ACT

A handbook for carers has been developed to provide valuable information and support to kinship and foster carers caring for Canberra children.

It includes loads of information to help carers be informed about their role and responsibilities, understand different aspects of care such as decision-making, relationships and finance, and where they can go for help and support. It is designed to be a one-stop reference guide to answer carer questions when they come up.

The Carer Handbook has been developed by Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS) in partnership with ACT Together and Carers ACT.

If you are a kinship or foster carer working with CYPS or ACT Together, then check out your Carer Handbook

Foster and Kinship Carer Wellbeing Survey

The Foster and Kinship Carer Wellbeing Survey was run by an independent research company in 2018. The survey was commissioned by Children, Youth and Families on behalf of the Carer Wellbeing Sub-Committee and the purpose was to hear direct from carers about their satisfaction with aspects of the out of home care system.

Findings from the survey are now being considered by the Carer Wellbeing Sub-Committee and will inform their work plan.

If you would like to learn about the findings you can view the survey report [PDF 3MB]

The Carer Wellbeing Sub-Committee involves carers, ACT Together, Carers ACT and Children, Youth and Family representatives who come together to discuss issues impacting carers.

The Sub-Committee would like to thank all carers who participated in the survey and shared their views.

If the survey brought up any issues for you, or you feel you need to talk about something you raised, please contact any of the following services:

  • Carer Support Team – ACT Together on 6110 2200
  • Carer Liaison Officer – Children, Youth and Families on 6207 5294
  • Foster and Kinship Carer Advocacy Service – Carers ACT on 6296 9966