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Policies and Procedures

Child, family and community participation

  • 1. Procedure Statement 

    The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) values child and adolescent, family and community participation in the planning, delivery, evaluation and quality improvement of health care services in order to achieve best possible health outcomes.   RCH will foster a culture of participation in its internal and external communities in accord with Victorian Government commitment in this area.  RCH aims to facilitate the involvement of children in their healthcare according to their maturity, age, level of disability and any relevant law.

    Empowering consumers to partner in care and decision making enables staff to better understand the individual consumer’s specific needs, concerns and values. It supports staff in providing more appropriate treatment and care plans and leads to better clinical and patient outcomes.

    2. Stakeholders 

    • Children and young people, families and relevant communities
    • Support Groups
    • NDIS Participants
    • RCH Staff
    • Department of Health

    3. Principles

    The following principles guide and support child, family and community participation:

    • RCH is committed to improve the safety, quality outcomes and the experience of care by encouraging and supporting children/young people, families and participants to be actively involved in patient treatment and care.
    • RCH recognises and respects that children/young people, families, participants and communities will want to participate in different ways and will have varying capacities to do so.
    • RCH will endeavour subject to the availability of appropriate resources to offer informal and formal opportunities and methodologies to suit people's different abilities, disabilities, needs and aptitudes. RCH will where possible have regard to the diversity of the population served.
    • RCH will aim to offer opportunities for children/young people, families, participants and communities to participate actively in planning and development.
    • The understanding and commitment of staff is essential to ensuring the active participation of children/young people, families, participants and communities. RCH will provide leadership, commitment and support for management and staff to become involved in child/young person, family, participants and community participation that will inform and guide their areas of responsibility.
    • RCH recognises the right of young people to seek confidential health care having regard to their maturity and the law of Australia.
    • Participation will be supported in accordance with the RCH values and Code of Conduct.

      4. Definition of Terms


      In many health care policy documents the term consumer is used. In the context of the RCH the consumer is a child or young person, therefore the term child is used in place of consumer. Children at RCH are current or potential users of the health care service, either directly or indirectly. It includes children and young people living with a disability, those from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, and with varying social circumstances, sexual orientations, health and illness conditions.


      The term 'carer' is used in many health care policy documents. In the context of RCH, the word family replaces carer and is defined as people who provide support to children requiring the services of RCH, be it directly or indirectly. Family may include parents, siblings, other relatives, guardians or friends. If the child is capable, family is who the child defines it to be.


      A group of people who have characteristics in common. For example, groups with the same health condition or disease, support groups with a common interest or ideology, groups from a similar ethnic or cultural background, groups from a specific geographical location or catchment. The population that RCH serves is made of many diverse communities.

      Child, Family and Community participation

      The process of actively involving children, families and communities in their own health care and in health service planning and priority setting; policy development, implementation and evaluation; resource allocation and quality improvement initiatives.


      A person who meets the National Disability Insurance Scheme access requirements.  Services for participants are offered by some RCH departments.


      People who voice, represent and advocate on behalf of children, families or communities and are accountable to those they represent.

      Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

      In the Australian context CALD may be described as follows: Those who identify as having a specific, cultural or linguistic affiliation by virtue of their place of birth, ancestry, ethnic origin, religion, preferred language, language(s) spoken at home or because of their parents identification on similar basis.


      This is a broad concept that includes all Australians. Recognising that each person is a unique and complex being is integral to understanding and responding effectively to health care needs at an individual, family or community level. Diversity refers to age, personal and professional background, education, function and personality. It includes lifestyle, socio-economic status, sexual preference, gender identity, ethnicity and status within the general community. Facilitating access for these often marginalized groups and individuals must occur across all areas of healthcare.

      5. Special provisions / Reference Documents (which may be referred to)

      • NDIS Practice Standards – NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators January 2020 Version 3