Dialog Box

FACs Update: Permissions

Information regarding permissions is available at FACS’ dedicated website for carers. 

Child minding and sleep overs

Carers do not need to seek permission for

  • occasional baby-sitting or sleep overs at a child in their cares friend’s house. Working with Children Checks are not required in this situation.

FACS is aware that there is a misunderstanding among some carers that Working with Children Checks are required for one-off sleepovers. FACS is working with My Forever Family and through its direct communications channels to put out ‘mythbusting’ communications to carers and agencies to correct this misunderstanding.

Carers do need consent from their agency caseworker and/or FACS for:

  • care that lasts longer than a week or that is regular in nature (eg one evening a week), whether it is professional carers, family or friends. 
  • care in child care service or out of school hours care if it is on a regular basis
Medical care

Carers do not need to seek permission for:

  • most day-to-day medical and dental treatments for children in their care
  • emergency surgery

Carers do need consent from their agency caseworker and/or FACS for:

  • non-urgent surgery
  • contraception and terminating a pregnancy for children under 14
  • drug and alcohol rehabilitation
  • end-of-life decisions
  • psychiatric treatment, and
  • many medical tests including DNA and HIV/AIDS.
Travel

Carers do not need to seek permission for:

  • taking children on a holiday within NSW (as long as this does not interfere with family time - contact with birth family)
  • day trips interstate

Carers do need consent from their agency caseworker and/or FACS for:

  • travel that may interfere with family time (agency caseworker)
  • overnight interstate travel (FACS)
  • overseas travel and the arrangement of passports (FACS)
Education

Carers and caseworkers should work together when enrolling a child in school, whether this is the first time they are going to a primary school or high school, or if they are changing schools.

Carers do not need to seek permission for:

  • most school excursions and other activities such as sporting activities and school camps

Carers do need consent from their agency caseworker and/or FACS for:

  • changing the school of a child in their care
  • high risk sport or activities
  • school camps longer than one week. 
Behaviour management

Carers cannot use ‘restrictive practices’ with the children in their care unless it is part of the child’s behaviour support plan, for which consent is required. The behaviour support plan is developed by the caseworker in partnership with the carer and other professionals such as a psychologist. Restrictive practices include psychotropic medication, physical restraint and other disciplinary measures.

Media and photography

Carers do not need to seek permission for:

  • children in their care to appear in the mainstream media, on social media, in school and other photographs (as long as it does not identify the child as being in care).

Carers do need consent from their agency caseworker and/or FACS for:

  • media and photography which identifies the child as being in care

Carers must also take care that there are no safety risks to a child if they are to appear in the media. For example if a child’s appearance in the media or social media may disclose their whereabouts and this information is protected, then the child or young person should not appear.

More  on permissions

A quick guide to who can make decisions in a child in care.

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