Care Circles are part of the NSW Government’s commitment to improving the wellbeing of Aboriginal families through better meeting their needs in the Children’s Court. Care Circles aim to encourage more culturally appropriate decision making and care plans for Aboriginal children and families.
Compared to the usual court process, the culturally comfortable and supportive environment of Care Circles makes care proceedings less daunting and distressing for the families involved.
The Care Circle project aims to:
- increase participation in decision making about Aboriginal children and young people by Aboriginal families and communities
- empower Aboriginal families and communities by reducing any barriers that may currently exist between courts and Aboriginal people
- enhance the viability and effectiveness of undertakings to be agreed to by a parent in placement proceedings
- improve support provided to parents or people with parental responsibility
- increase confidence of Aboriginal people and other stakeholders in the care process
- support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander principles in the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.
Care Circles are currently operating in Nowra. The Department of Attorney General and Justice is currently expanding the program to Lismore, with consultations underway.
More information is available in the Keep Them Safe Annual Report 2010-11.