Access arrangements - FCAV Advocacy

The FCAV understands carer concerns about the health and safety risks to themselves, young people and families associated with face to face parental contact and has been in discussions with DHHS to clarify current policy and to communicate carer concerns.
Under current arrangements DHHS policy regarding contact arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic is to:
• commence, continue or re-establish face-to-face contact, if it is safe to do so

• maintain connection between children and their parents when face-to-face contact cannot happen safely.

As part of these arrangements DHHS need to develop either a contact plan (to regulate face to face contact) or a connection plan (to facilitate online contact). All cases will be assessed on a case by case basis but need either a Contact Plan or a Connection Plan to establish clear and transparent agreement about how access will be facilitated in the present environment. Carers should approach their agencies about the development of either a contact plan or connection plan to have input into these plans. As part of the FCAV discussions with DHHS it was recognised that in many instances parents and young people supported online access through the development of connection plans not only because of the current risks with face to face contact but also because online access was a preferable option for many people.
The FCAV will be communicating carer concerns about these issues to DHHS as part of its ongoing advocacy on this issue.