CREATE Foundation advocates for children and young people with a care experience in Australia. This means we listen to ideas from children and young people about their experiences in all forms of out-of-home care (foster care, kinship care, permanent care, and residential care) and share those views with people who run the care system to help make life better for the young people. This process is called a Consultation. CREATE uses the information children and young people share with us to write reports that can assist in shaping the development of services, policies, and procedures of government departments and non-government agencies.
Consultations can be conducted in a variety of ways. Generally, they will take the form of an interview where a young person can be asked questions by a CREATE staff member about a set topic. The interview can be conducted either one-on-one in person (face-to-face), or over the telephone, which allows CREATE to give more young people a chance to be involved, particularly those who live in remote areas. Alternatively, some young people may choose to answer the questions online using internet technology via computers or mobile devices (called a survey). Sometimes special small group sessions (focus groups) may be organised where topics can be discussed and ideas shared with other young people.
When you volunteer to participate in a consultation there are things you need to know about the process before you begin. Key information will be provided in the Instructions to the interview or survey. Some of those points are repeated here along with some additional ones you may want to consider.
Being part of a consultation (like a survey, interview or focus group) is based on Informed Consent
The instructions given before starting the consultation, and the comments included in this document, are designed to inform you of what is likely to happen during the consultation, what you need to do to participate, and any outcomes or consequences you need to consider. If there are things you don’t understand, please ask the interviewer or contact CREATE (phone: 07 3062 4860; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you are under 18 and want to be part of the consultation, your carer or worker will need to give consent on your behalf. If you are over 18, you can give your own informed consent. If your consultation response is in person, you or your carer may complete a written Consent Form. If you are responding over the phone or online, you may request a Consent Form by contacting CREATE. Alternatively, when you complete the consultation, you can visit the Consent Site and simply enter your name to indicate your consent. This is the same site you access to claim your Participation Voucher (see below).
Being part of a consultation is voluntary; it is always your choice whether you participate or not.
You have the right to say “no” at any stage of the consultation
If you agree to take part and you have a reason for not answering some of our questions, you can skip them and move on, although we hope you will want to share as many of your thoughts with us as possible. If you decide you want to stop after the consultation has begun, you can ask to stop and we will. Then we won’t use any of your individual answers or quotes. You can withdraw at any time during the process without any consequences for your future involvement with CREATE.
What happens to the information you give us?
CREATE will summarise what you and other children and young people say in a report for decision-makers in child protection. CREATE places copies of the various reports on our web site so anyone who participated can read what was said.
No names will be used in the report. The report will show the age, culture, and types of placement of everyone in the consultation. CREATE values what children and young people say in response to questions and we try to include as many of the young persons’ actual words as possible. If something you say is used as a direct quote, your name will not be used—only your sex and age will be given to acknowledge the source of the comment (e.g., Male, 14 years).
None of your personal details will be given to anyone else UNLESS they are needed in an emergency. If you say something that makes us concerned about the safety of you or another child or young person in care, we will have to report that risk to the relevant authorities; however, we will talk to you about this before taking action.
Other stuff you might want to know
To thank you for your time and the valuable information you have provided we would like to offer you a $25.00 gift voucher. To obtain the voucher, you will need to visit the link provided at the end of the survey, leave your name and contact details so we can send your gift. If you do not wish to receive a voucher, simply record your name (without contact information) to give consent. Your contact details and consent information will be stored in locked files at a CREATE office for 5 years in case we need to look back at it. Note that none of your details will be linked to the information you have provided.
If participating in the consultation raises any issues you would like to talk about with someone, you can call CREATE on 1800 655 105 (toll free) or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
If you are still not happy with how you have been treated, you can complain to your local state Ombudsman, Children’s Commissioner, or Children’s Advocate. You can find details about your state Children’s Commissioner and Advocate/Guardian here https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/childrens-commissioners-and-guardians
Remember, if you have any questions, you can call the CREATE National Office on 07 3062 4860.
Thank you for your interest in CREATE.