Kids explain their rights in their own words… and find birds!
On 30 September 2019, children, carers and families headed to the National Arboretum to take part in a bird hunt! ….and to help us launch our redesigned Charter of rights for kids in care.
The rights have remained the same, however the look has been freshened up and we worked with the CREATE Foundation to learn what the rights actually mean to kids in care.
CREATE spoke to a number of young people to hear what they thought each right meant and how they should look in their daily life. Using their voices, we now have special factsheets for children, young people and adults to help let everyone know about the important rights of children and young people in care.
One young person told us:
‘The Charter is important because we are important, like all children and young people, and because we do not have our parents, we need you to help us in all these ways.’
The day of the launch was a beautiful day with kids of various ages having a blast looking for birds and simply having a great time. We even had Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith join in the fun.
For more information, go to Charter of rights for kids in care.
2019 Talking Practice
On 24 July 2019, staff from Child and Youth Protection Services, ACT Together, Uniting Children and Families ACT, CREATE, Australian Red Cross and Carers ACT came together to immerse themselves in best practice examples, explore challenges and solutions and hear about child protection trends and initiatives from across Australia.
The theme was ‘Stepping with Dignity: Empowering Children and Families Through Purposeful Partnerships’ offered an exciting opportunity to participate in some incredible presentations by:
- Kate Alexander – Executive Director, Office of the Senior Practitioner (OSP) for the NSW Department of Family and Community Services
- Dr Sue Packer AM – Paediatrician and 2019 Senior Australian of the Year
- Angela Singh – Chief Executive Officer of SNAICC – National Voice for our Children
- Dr Joe Tucci – Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Childhood Foundation
Thanks to everyone who participated and shared their experiences, knowledge and expertise.
2018 Youth Roundtable – What we learnt
Last November, Children, Youth and Families hosted a Youth Roundtable to hear directly from young people about their experiences of being in care and what they think would make a difference. The roundtable included young people currently in care or who have recently left care because they turned 18. It was facilitated by the Youth Coalition, CREATE and the Institute of Child Protection Studies.
The roundtable focused on the question, ‘What has been your experience of case planning?’ The main things young people told us, and want considered in future policy and practice development, were:
- to have greater involvement and participation in decision-making
- to understand why decisions were made
- time to process and consider feedback and questions
- to be provided with multiple opportunities to consider information
- greater access to information
- to be involved in policy development
- more frequent and direct access with case managers
- case managers to be powerful advocates
- case managers to act with empathy and be trained in matters that impact young people, such as mental health
- to be matched with their case manager and have continuity with them.
Children, Youth and Families are committed to act on what young people said. Several projects underway have already been influenced by the feedback heard, including:
- The design of a new client management system – CSD is about to launch a new IT system that will help to prioritise involving children and young people in decision making.
- Embedding therapeutic trauma-informed practice – CSD has developed a trauma-informed poster about the young people’s feedback from the roundtable and how it can be used in practice. This is a practical tool for case managers to understand the feedback from the Roundtable in a trauma-informed way.
- Updating the Community Services Directorate website – developing specific webpages for children and young people in care. Much of the feedback from the Roundtable has been incorporated into developing pages that help children and young people understand the care system and offer suggestions on how to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
- Refreshing the ACT’s Charter of rights for kids in care – CSD is currently refreshing the ACT’s Charter of rights and will consider how the feedback can be used to promote the rights of all children and young people in care.
- Influencing the new Carer Handbook to promote the importance of listening to children and young people.
You can learn more about what young people told us by reading the:
If you have any questions please email CBRStepsUp@act.gov.au
Stepping Up for Our Kids: Real Stories of Keeping Children and Young People Strong, Safe and Connected
The Community Services Directorate, ACT Together, Uniting Children and Families ACT, CREATE Foundation, Carers ACT and the Australian Red Cross Birth Family Advocacy Service are pleased to launch Stepping Up for Our Kids: Real Stories of Keeping Children and Young People Strong, Safe and Connected.
The publication tells the stories of real families who have had contact with the child protection system under A Step Up for Our Kids. It showcases how agencies are working collaboratively to support children, young people and their families using a trauma informed approach and illustrates how child protection practitioners work creatively to help families.
Read the full publication.
Foster and kinship carer survey
Thank you to everyone who was involved in the 2018 Carer Wellbeing Survey.
The survey summary gives carers and interested people a snapshot of some of the findings and the full report provides details of the survey design, findings and some analysis.
The Carer Wellbeing Sub-Committee are considering all the results from the survey to inform their work plan. The Sub-Committee is a group of carers and ACT Together, Carers ACT and Children, Youth and Family representatives who come together to discuss issues impacting carers and how to improve wellbeing.
If the survey brought up any issues please get in contact the Carer Support Team, ACT Together on 02 6110 2200, the Carer Liaison Officer, Children, Youth and Families on 02 6207 5294 or the Carers ACT Foster and Kinship Carer Advocacy Service on 02 6296 9966.
View the survey summary or full report.