Strong connections to family, community, culture and Country are foundational to the lifelong wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. This is recognised in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle and the requirement to develop cultural support plans across Australia.

Child protection workers need to both encourage positive relationships between children’s families and carers when they are in out-of-home care (OOHC) and support the development of children’s cultural connections. These videos share practice guidance that draws on the expertise and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The videos explore key themes including identity, belonging, cultural safety and respectful curiosity.

The Bridge shares the experiences of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young person in out-of-home care. It explores his yearning to know his family and how reconnecting with them in turn strengthened his sense of identity and belonging.

Building Bridges shares the perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander caseworkers about the vital role they play in fostering children’s connections to Kin, culture and Country. It explores their practice tips including the need to actively listen to the perspectives of children and young people and ask respectful, curious questions to build relationships with families.

A viewing guide for caseworkers and social work students is available and includes reflective questions to accompany screenings of the videos.

FACSIAR hosted a webinar launch of the films in 2021. Watch Associate Professor Lynette Riley, Dr Sarah Ciftci and Professor Amy Conley Wright discuss the importance of fostering lifelong connections for Aboriginal children in care alongside action researchers Trudy Everingham and Stephen Newman.

FACSIAR Lunch & Learn Webinar: Practices for fostering lifelong connections for Aboriginal children in care.

Wiradjuri Workbooks

A series of Wiradjuri Workbooks, by Diane Riley-McNaboe and Lynette Riley, were developed as a way of supporting Wiradjuri children’s connection to culture through language. The first two Workbooks in the seven part series can be downloaded for free via SBS Learn.

Hear from Associate Professor Lynette Riley and Diane Riley-McNaboe discuss the development of the Wiradjuri Workbooks as part of the Fostering Lifelong Connections study at the launch of the first two Workbooks in March 2022.


Learn about Aboriginal Kinship systems by completing the Kinship Module developed by Associate Professor Lynette Riley.