Recently CREATE published a new position paper on Relationships with Caseworkers in the care system. Over the past year we’ve had several states conduct consultations with children and young people in the care system and from this research it is clear that the relationships between caseworkers and those in care can have a huge impact – caseworkers are the nexus between children and young people and the child protection system.
We believe a strong, trusting relationship with caseworkers is essential to ensure the voices of children and young people in out-of-home care are heard and acted upon. Relationship building requires stability to develop trust and understanding between the caseworker and the child/young person. Achieving this connection requires caseworkers who are honest, caring, flexible, respectful, organised, committed to child-friendly practice, and treat children and young people as individuals with rights that must be respected.
In this position paper we outline our calls to action – it is important that governments ensure there are adequate numbers of caseworkers who are well qualified and trained, as well as better matching of children and young people to their caseworkers. Other recommendations include prioritizing greater stability, flexibility and improved communication; and increasing efforts in the space of cultural awareness and processes.