THE CHARTER OF RIGHTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN CARE
Children and young people have rights
You have the right to feel good about yourself.
You have the right to live in a place where you are safe and cared for.
You have the right to get the help you want or need.
You have the right to understand and have a say in the decisions that affect you.
This is a charter for children and young people who are placed away from their families in care.
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.
These are the rights that we want you to have when you are in care.
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 your culture
- If you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, knowing about your cultural and spiritual identity and your community
- 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 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 don’t have to move too much
- 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 and from your worker
- A plan which shows how and where you will be cared for
- A special plan for when you are leaving care
- 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
- Preparation for employment and to live independently
- 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:
- Understand why you are in care
- Add information to your personal file
- Express your opinion about things that affect you
- Be involved in what is decided about your life and your care
- Know and be confident that personal information about you will not be shared without good reason
- Speak to someone who can act on your behalf when you cannot do this
You have rights
If you feel that 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 and / or
2. Speak to your worker and / or
3. Speak to the Supervisor at your worker’s office and / or
4. Speak to someone at the Office for the Guardian by phoning 1800 275 664 or 8226 8570.
5. If it is after hours and urgent you can phone the Crisis Response Unit on 13 16 11.
This charter was developed by talking with children and young people and with the help of a Steering Committee with representatives from the Office of the Guardian for Children and Young People, Families SA, the Create Foundation and Child and Family Welfare Association, South Australia. It was endorsed by a group of children and young people in care.