Children and young people in out-of-home care have a right to maintain contact with their families and other significant people in their lives. This includes a right to participate and to have a say about decisions that are important to them, including who they see or speak to, how often, where and what they do.

Although contact plans are made via court orders and yearly case planning meetings, circumstances can change, and children should be given more regular opportunities to express their wishes for family time and their relationships.

Caseworkers can make efforts to collect children’s immediate feedback after visits, discuss their feedback with carers and family members and make changes that respond to their wishes.

Resources

Roar, by Billy Black, is an illustrated storybook for children in out-of-home care. Roar tells the story of a lion cub’s journey to understand their big feelings, and how a carer gorilla and caseworker bear can help them to regulate these emotions and enjoy Family Time.

Watch a video of Roar here:

Author Billy Black reads Roar

My Family Time is Mine, by Bobby Hendry, is a guide for young people in out-of-home care. It explores their rights to be heard in matters that are important including around Family Time, understanding their emotions and how trauma affects the brain, and how they can learn to take charge of reactions. It is full of practical tips and suggested playlists for relaxation.

Listen to author, Bobby Hendry here:

Author Bobby Hendry discusses My Family Time is Mine