We are excited to announce the proposed Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care (Revised) has been sent to the Minister for Child Protection for approval.
The revised Charter was developed over nine months using the voices of 77 children, young people and adults who are, or have been in care, and 6 other stakeholders. The revised Charter details nine rights that reflect what children and young people told us was important to them – this includes being safe in care; connecting to culture, family and friends; and having access to education, play and good health.
Here are just some of the things young people told us about what they want the new rights to include…
“Listen to kids what they want not what you think.”
“[Young people] need more info about why they come into care otherwise the child will start thinking it is their fault.”
“Being a part of decisions about us.”
“Knowing about & connecting to culture.”
“Keeping in contact with family.”
“All children in care need SSO support or extra help with school, even if they don’t have a disability.”
“Learning life skills earlier to prepare for when you go independent.”
As part of the Charter review, our working group collated all the feedback and drafted the new rights, which were later endorsed by 111 children and young people, and other care leavers, aged between 6 and 25 years. As part of the endorsement, children and young people were asked if the new rights made sense and if they reflected their experiences. They were also asked if anything further should be added or changed. The final revised Charter and supporting report was then sent to the Minister to be approved and tabled in Parliament.
Once the revised Charter has been tabled, all organisations who work with children and young people in care will need to endorse the new Charter. We will be in contact with all existing Charter Champions to arrange endorsement so please make sure we have the most up to date contact details for your organisation’s nominated Charter Champions.
While we wait for the Minister’s approval, we will begin developing a raft of new accessible, culturally diverse materials for children, young people and their carers and provide further guidance and support for the agencies who endorse the Charter. We will also be looking at the endorsement process to see what improvements can be made.
If your organisation does not yet endorse the Charter, with a designated Charter Champion, and you would like more information, please contact Mardy McDonald at Mardy.McDonald2@sa.gov.au
We’re looking forward to sharing the new Charter with you all very soon!