What does the Charter say?
This Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care belongs to you. It is our way of saying that we want to care for you as well as we can.
If you are in care, there are a few things you should know…
- Children and young people in care have rights.
- This means that you can expect to be treated well and to be cared for properly. Everyone who looks after you is expected to do their best in caring for you.
- A charter is a way of telling you about these rights and what you can expect when you are in care.
- These rights have come from talking with children, young people, workers and carers.
You have the right to feel good about yourself by:
- being treated like other children and young people who do not live in care
- knowing who you are and your history
- knowing that people care about you
- understanding where your family is
- knowing about and connecting with your culture
- if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, knowing about your cultural identity and participating in your community’s business and activities
- having all of your personal things kept safe – like photographs, school reports and special belongings
- developing your talents and interests, like sport or art
- keeping in contact with the people who help you feel good about yourself
You have the right to live in a place where you are safe, respected and cared for. This means a place where:
- people understand and respect your culture
- you are not hurt or made to feel bad
- you have someone to talk to
- you get treated with respect
- things are fair
- your thoughts and opinions are asked for and considered
- you get nutritious food
- you get decent clothes
- you have your own bed
- you have your own ‘space’ or a place where you can have some time on your own if you want it
- you have people caring for you who have special training about your needs
- you are not being moved around a lot
- you know who to go to if you have a problem or want to complain about something
You have the right to get the help you want or need. This means:
- regular support and contact from your worker
- support to understand your culture and to connect with your community
- a plan which shows how and where you will be cared for
- a good education
- extra support if you have special education needs
- extra support if you have a disability
- medical, dental and other care when you need it
- get help with planning for your future
- support and a place to live when you leave care
You have the right to understand and have a say in the decisions that affect you. This means:
- understanding why you are in care and having your questions answered
- knowing what information is kept about you
- expressing your opinion about things that affect you
- being involved in what is decided about your life and your care
- knowing if personal information about you is shared
- speaking to someone who can act on your behalf when you cannot do this
The Charter text can also be downloaded as a colourful printable A4 poster.
If you feel you are not being listened to...
...or you need someone who can act on your behalf or you want to make a complaint. This is what you can do…….
1. speak to your carer
2. speak to your worker
3. speak to the Supervisor at your worker’s office
4. speak to someone at the Office for the Guardian by phoning 1800 275 664 or 8226 8570.
If it is after hours and urgent you can call Crisis Care on 131 611.
This charter was developed by talking with children and young people and with the help of many other people.