Case planning

What is a case plan?

  • A plan developed following an assessment, and collecting the views of the child, their parents, extended family, carers and relevant others
  • Includes goals for the child and what’s needed to meet those goals
  • Details the steps and services required to address the child’s safety, welfare and wellbeing
  • Records the roles and responsibilities of all involved - everyone involved, including carers, is expected to work within the case plan

Case plan documents are kept on file as a formal record and may be used by the Children’s Court for making decisions.

Our case/care plan guides the care team in what they should be doing, how they work together and what actions should occur.

We work with the child and this is called case work, case management or care coordination. Responsibilities and roles among LWB, statutory authorities and other agencies does vary however, in all states and territories LWB exercises influence over case planning and casework for children in care. In NSW, LWB has some more formal delegated responsibilities for children’s care and we can make a wider range of decisions for some children. However we still need to work closely with statutory authorities in NSW who continue to exercise a lot of responsibility as well.

What we do

Regardless of the state or territory LWB must do case planning in the interests of children. As a carer you have a vital role in the process. Outcomes are better for children in care when there are clear goals set, when children and their families are involved and feel included in the plans made with them and when plans are regularly reviewed and updated.

Research suggests that planning that actively includes children and families in the important decisions in their lives is one of the most important means of addressing some of the poor outcomes children in care can experience.

Who is involved in case/care planning?

There are a particular group of people to consider when a child’s plan is prepared. These people are identified in legislation, standards and our policy. They include

  • the child, with consideration given to age and understanding
  • the child’s carers - primary and short break
  • the child’s parents, siblings and other family
  • for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child – someone from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community
  • ‘significant others’ - all those people who have had an important part in the child’s life
  • the Departmental case manager
  • the LWB case manager, case worker, or care coordinator who works with the child
  • LWB specialist program workers

Stages of case planning

Case planning is a cycle. Life is dynamic and changes for children and the case plan must reflect these changes. The case planning cycle involves

  • Pre planning and preparation
  • Discussing and developing the case plan
  • Formalising the case plan
  • Implementing and monitoring the case plan
  • Reviewing the case plan

Dimensions of Care/Care Domains

To plan all relevant aspects of a child’s life we develop a case plan with a detailed set of dimensions of care, also called care domains. Both these words really just mean areas of care. Depending on your location these areas include

  • The permanent placement goal
  • Placement/accommodation
  • Culture/identity
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Education and training
  • Family and social networks
  • Development and skills
  • Leisure and community
  • Legal issues
  • Financial planning

Your care team will guide the case planning process and will provide you with more detailed information about the process in your state or territory.

Want to become a carer?
To become a foster carer your ability to care and nurture a child is what really matters.
To learn more, visit the LWB foster care website