ALSWA provided this submission to the WA Department of Child Protection (DCP) to provide substantive practical considerations and feedback on DCP’s draft Permanency Planning Policy. In the submission, ALSWA welcomed the development of the Permanency Planning Policy whilst noting the importance of effective implementation which would require DCP staff training and possibly a shift in staff attitudes. ALSWA noted that reunification should not be overlooked in practicing parallel planning. ALSWA warned against legislated timeframes being used as formulaic deadlines and recommended the policy call for assessment of reunification potential as promptly as possible and for DCP to assist parents develop their parenting capacity while maintaining contact with their children. ALSWA also recommended that care plans accompany reunification processes to clearly articulate the steps parents need to take and act as a mechanism against which to measure the progress towards reunification. ALSWA warned against DCP giving undue weight to carer’s views and encouraged DCP to develop a greater commitment to working in partnership with birth parents.

DCP Permanency Planning – June 10 – WA.pdf     (1.75Mb)