Going on holidays
If you are planning to travel within the Northern Territory with a child in care, you may not need specific consent, but the Department of Children and Families needs to know where the child is and to record the details on their file. A trip to see friends in a town hundreds of kilometres away in the NT does not need to be discussed with the Case Manager. However, if it involves overnight stays or being away for a few days, you should let the Case Manager know of your intentions.
There are a number of things that have to be considered and reported to the Department of Children and Families when planning travel with children in care:
- The wishes of the child’s family.
- Any health issues that may arise during travel, and authorisation for emergency medical treatment.
- Whether the proposed accommodation will be suitable.
- Purpose and planned activities.
- Who will fund the travel and provide money for the child while they are away.
- Whether the child needs a passport.
- How the travel will impact on the goals of the child's case plan.
Travel within Australia
If you are planning to travel interstate with a child in care, you must discuss this with the Case Manager, who will organise the relevant consent from the Department of Children and Families and the parents, if required. The decision to allow a child to travel interstate has legal considerations and the correct authority must be given first. The Case Manager will ask that you provide details of the reason for the proposed travel, the child’s whereabouts and your contact details while you are away. Please ensure you allow several months to ensure all plans are approved and documented.
Carers are expected to plan for and support a child in care's attendance on family holidays, however on occassion some financial assistance can be negotiated with the child's Case Manager.
If you are planning to travel overseas with a child in care, plan this well ahead and talk to the Case Manager as soon as possible. Approval to travel outside of Australia may take several months to finalise.
Passport applications can take up to three months to be processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The passport application will be submitted by the Case Manager (with valid approval). The time it takes to apply for a passport and for the Department of Children and Families approval process can take many months, so these time-frames need to be included in your planning.