Whether you are a kinship or foster carer, the child you care for will be assigned and supported by a case manager. This person is your first point of contact. If you are caring for more than one child, you may have more than one case manager. You may also have a carer support worker.
Your case manager will work closely with you, the child and the child’s birth parents to provide a clear plan for the care of the child. This plan will also link the child, you and your family with any appropriate services that can help. The focus of the plan will either be restoration, permanency or transition. These goals will be captured in the child’s Care Plan.
Your case manager will be from CYPS or ACT Together – which one is determined by whether you are a kinship or foster carer and what type of Care and Protection Order is in place for the child.
If the child you care for is on a short-term or interim Care and Protection Order and you are a:
- kinship carer
- CYPS is responsible for your assessment and support, and the ongoing case management of the child and their Care Plan. This includes coordinating contact arrangements with birth family and appointments for the child. At this stage, it is likely the goal of the child’s Care Plan is restoration to their birth parents.
- foster carer
- CYPS is responsible for the ongoing case management of the child and their Care Plan. This includes coordinating contact arrangements with birth family and appointments for the child. At this stage, it is likely the goal of the child’s Care Plan is restoration to their birth parents.
- ACT Together is responsible for your assessment, coordination, liaison with CYPS and carer support.
If the child you care for is on a long-term Care and Protection Order and you are a:
- kinship or foster carer
- ACT Together is responsible for your assessment and support, and the ongoing case management of the child and their Case Plan. This includes coordinating contact arrangements with parents and appointments for the child. At this stage, it is likely the goal of the child’s Care Plan is either permanency or transition out of care.
- A permanency plan recognises attempts at restoration have been unsuccessful, and the child requires a stable and long-term care arrangement.
- Where a child is 15 years old or over, the Children and Young People Act 2008 requires a Transition (from Care) Plan. This goal recognises, most parents are seeking to encourage independence in their children from the age of 15 and prepare them for the possibility of independence at the age of 18.
The table below visually shows you where case management responsibility lies and who will work with you.
CASE MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITY
Visits from your case manager
CYPS and ACT Together have a legal responsibility to ensure children in care are visited regularly and the child’s views and opinions heard. The frequency of visits depends on the orders in place for the child and how long they have been in care. As a guide, for a child on a long-term order in a settled care arrangement, a visit once a month is standard.
Visits happen in a variety of settings. They may be at home with you, or elsewhere at an activity. Wherever visits happen, the primary aim is for your case manager to form a trusting relationship with the child and to support their time with you.
Your case manager will want to speak to the child and you together, and individually. They will also want to see you interact with the child to see how you are getting along and help with any issues that may come up. Speaking individually with the child is an opportunity for your case manager to get to know the child one-on-one and to see if there is anything they need or if they have any concerns about their placement. Where appropriate, your case manager will let you know about these discussions, with the child’s permission, and if any follow-up is required. This is the same for when your case manager speaks individually with you.
Visits will happen at an agreed time between you and your case manager. If your circumstances change and you can’t make a visit, you need to contact your case manager as early as possible to arrange another time. Your case manager will also let you know if they are unable to make a visit and organise a new time with you. Occasionally, circumstances can change suddenly and visits need to be cancelled at short notice. Visits are very important and should only be cancelled by you or your case manager in exceptional circumstances.
Both you and your case manager are important role models for the child in your care. Working collaboratively with your case manager, during visits and at all times, demonstrates the importance of teamwork and how to build and maintain trusting relationships. Regardless of how long the child is in your care, they will always learn from you, and seeing adults respect one another and involve each other in decisions is invaluable to their development.
Contacting your case manager
Your case manager is your first point of contact regarding questions you have about the child in your care and your role and responsibilities as their carer. Depending on your question, your case manager will either help you directly or link you with the best-placed person or service to assist.
You can use the numbers below to contact your case manager. If your case manager is from CYPS, they will let you know which team (North or South) they are in. Emergency after hours numbers are also provided.
Phone – business hours
After hours crisis services
North team: 6207 1069
South team: 6207 1466
1300 556 729
This a 24-hour after hours service for emergency or serious incidents only.
0402 036 254
This number is diverted to the after hours worker. Text messages are not received.
If you are having difficulty contacting your case manager, use the same numbers above and ask to speak to your case manager’s team leader. The person who takes your call will know who your case manager’s team leader is.
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