Recognised Entities are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations funded by Child Safety Services to provide culturally appropriate and family advice regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
The law says that Child Safety Services has to ask the Recognised Entities to participate in key decisions made about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.
Examples include decisions made about:
- investigations and assessments
- case plans
- contact with family members
- placements and carers
- young people’s participation in recreational activities.
It is important to remember that, even though they are independent, the Recognised Entities main job is to help Child Safety Services and the Childrens Court to make better decisions by taking cultural matters into account. Child Safety Services is their client, not the child or the family and it is not the main role of the Recognised Entity to provide support to the child or the family.
You can expect the recognised entity to:
- give you a copy of any material that they are handing up to the Magistrate before court commences
- talk to you and ask you whether you have any concerns, particularly about cultural issues or potential kinship carers, and
- be transparent and honest about the advice or position that they are taking.
The Recognised Entity may also be able to recommend organisations that can provide culturally appropriate support for you and your family.