The Guardian’s Office received 292 requests for intervention in the 12 months to 30 June, 2017. Of those, the Office found that 57 were out of the Guardian’s mandate. The remaining 235 in-mandate enquiries represented 321 individual children. Of the 235 inquiries:
- 137 were requests for advocacy
- 43 were consultations about action that could be taken regarding children’s circumstances
- 35 were complaints that were re-directed
- 20 were categorised as ‘other’ and included for information only
Some children presenting for advocacy had more than one issue. The main issues were broadly consistent with those of previous years. They were:
|Stable and secure placement|
|Contact with significant others|
|Participation in decision making|
|Access to health and disability services|
|Understanding their circumstances|
|Relationship with their case worker|
The major trends are:
- In-mandate enquiries increased from 145 in 2015-16 to 235 in 2016-17. This increase (62%) is significantly higher than the increase in numbers of children and young people in state care and detention over the same period.
- Young people self-referred in the same proportion as the two previous years but the number increased from 41 in 2015-16 to 71 in 2016-17.
- Enquiries about children and young people in the non home-based care arrangements, (residential care, emergency care and the Adelaide Youth Training Centre) accounted for 53% of the total enquiries. this was greatly out of proportion to their number in the population in state care and detention.
 The Guardian’s mandate is limited to young people in state care and in youth justice detention in South Australia. Out-of-mandate enquirers were referred, where possible, to appropriate sources of assistance.
2 Some enquiries involve numbers of children.