"carer handbook decision making"
Decision-making A carer’s right to make decisions for a child in care is largely dependent on who has custody and guardianship. This section applies to carers who have custody, but not guardianship, of a child through a Care Agreement or Child Protection Order. If you are in doubt, do not guess — ask your Child Safety Officer. Decision-making and the role of the case plan Guardianship provides the power to make decisions — the case plan provides a framework to make those decisions. A thorough, well-developed case plan takes a lot of the ‘grey’ out of decision-making. The case planning process should be seen as an investment to make your life — and the child’s life — less fraught with ‘unknowns’. Take an active part in case planning. Decisions you can make for the child You can make the following decisions for the child: Daily routine Bed time Meal time Homework Medical Medical attention for a common illness Medical or dental treatment when a general anaesthetic is not required Continued or other health treatments for established conditions, unless the medical practitioner is proposing a new treatment Diagnostic tests for new conditions such as an x-ray A second medical opinion (but you alone can not act on it) Education Child care arrangements Signing school reports Participation in sport and recreational activities that are low-to-moderate risk Variations to school routine including participation in day excursions that are of low-to-moderate risk and not involving interstate travel Participation in curriculum-related activities including swimming, arts council performances and religious education that are consistent with the views of the child and the family Sport and recreational activities Joining and taking part in a low-to-medium risk sporting or recreational activity A sleepover with friends for up to two nights Participation in outings that do not conflict with family contact arrangements What are low-to-moderate activities? Approved school sports Flights on regulated airlines Rides at theme parks What are higher-risk activities? Rock climbing Abseiling Go-karts Motorbikes Parachuting Hang gliding Bungy jumping Scuba diving Travel Non-air travel within the state for up to three nights that does not conflict with family contact arrangements or the case plan. Interstate day trips. For more information, see the section titled ‘Travel.’ Personal appearance Haircuts Clothing Makeup Ear piercing You need to consider the child’s views — how much weight their opinion carries depends on their age and stage of development. Tattooing and intimate body piercing of children under the age of 18 is a criminal offence. If the child in your care wants body piercing, this must be discussed with your Child Safety Officer. If the decision becomes contentious, the carer should consult the Child Safety Officer. Decisions that can only be made by Child Safety Services or the guardian Medical Immunisations Blood tests Major medical and surgical procedures or examinations Blood transfusions Testing to determine parentage (DNA testing) Pregnancy termination Contraception Acting on a second medical opinion Prescribed medications to manage behaviour or mental health conditions (for example, anti-depressants, dexamphetamines) Health practitioners can consider a child’s ability to understand and provide consent in emergency and non-emergency situations if the custodian or guardian cannot be contacted. Doctors have the legal authority to treat a child in an emergency if Child Safety Services, the parent or the guardian cannot be contacted before treatment, and delaying treatment may jeopardise the child’s health and safety. Education Enrolment in a new school, TAFE or other training arrangement Day excursions involving high or very high-risk activities Sporting or recreational activities that are high or very high-risk School camps Participation in curriculum-related activities that may not be consistent with the child’s or family’s views and beliefs (for example, religious education) Legal Changing the child or young person’s surname Granting permission for the child to marry under the age of 18 years of age Giving permission for the child to join the Australian Defence Force (under 18 years of age) Allowing interstate (other than a day trip) or overseas travel Police interviews Children cannot be interviewed by the police unless: the child has had the opportunity to speak to a support person the support person is present during interviewing.