Cultural support plans
Cultural Support Plans – helping Aboriginal kids stay connected to culture
All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids should have a Cultural Support Plan. A good plan takes a bit of time and effort to put together, but both the process and the final plan are great tools for supporting a child to stay connected to their culture and be proud of who they are.
A Cultural Support Plan is updated year to year as a child grows and their needs change. It can sometimes be confused with a Cultural Care Plan. The Cultural Care Plan is submitted to the Children’s Court together with a child or young person’s Care Plan and doesn’t change over time.
Developing a Cultural Support Plan is a joint project with the child or young person, their family and community, and other support people including their carers and caseworker.
A Cultural Support Plan should:
- include all the information that is known about the child or young person’s culture, family, kinship group, Country and community
- describe how you and other people in the child’s life will support them to have a strong connection with their culture, community and Country and to understand who they are
- link children in with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical and education services and community groups
- list specific activities, and how you and others will help the child or young person to participate in them
- be appropriate to child’s developmental stage.
The following suggestions for creating a developmentally appropriate Cultural Support Plan come from the AbSec* run Cultural Connections Workshop.
We recommend that anyone caring for Aboriginal children or young people attend one of these workshops for more in-depth information. See our training calendar for upcoming workshops.
Safe connections and relationships with family and other significant people are a priority. These could include parents, siblings and community Elders. Activities could be:
- attending an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander playgroup
- reading Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander story books
- going along to community events.
Support kids to continue to see family and build on connections already made. Focus on helping them develop more knowledge and pride in their culture. This is also a stage for kids to explore and become more independent. Activities can include:
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander art, dance and music
- learning their language
- attending community events like NAIDOC, Sorry days, and football matches.
Continuing to spend time with family and other significant people, children will develop confidence and an interest in learning about their culture. This is a good time to help kids learn about Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander history, and family history. Along with continuing the activities mentioned in the previous stage, children would benefit from:
- attending Cultural camps
- sporting groups and competitions
They can also be supported to learn about their Culture and family by:
- watching documentaries
- learning about the Stolen Generation
- speaking with Elders and family about their culture and Country
- researching their family history and making a family tree.
Encourage young people to develop independence in their relationships with their family and community. This is the stage for them to strengthen their identity and establish their own place within their community. They will want to spend more time with their own friends. They need you to be positive about who they are, to listen to them and allow them to ask questions.
Activities could include any of those previously mentioned. You also can support their independence and sense of self-worth by encouraging them to:
- develop new friendships and relationships in their community
- volunteer in the community. For example, refereeing or coaching, or helping to organise community events
- get involved in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander youth programs, such as leadership programs or cultural camps.
* AbSec are the NSW Child, Family and Community Peak Aboriginal Corporation. Learn more about what AbSec do.