Please note this page was last updated 23/07/2021
Want to know more about the COVID-19 vaccines?
One of the best ways to protect yourself and the community against the spread of COVID-19 is to register for the vaccine! To find out more about eligibility and the types of vaccines, as well as where to go for more information head to our blog post here.
New South Wales, ACT and Victoria are currently under lockdown restrictions. To find out what this means for you head to the relevant Health Department website: NSW, VIC, ACT It is important that we continue to socially distance, get tested if showing any symptoms, and wear masks when required.
Make sure you are staying up to date
For the latest updates specific to your state or territory visit:
QLD, NSW, WA, TAS, NT, ACT, VIC, SA
Or visit the Department of Health’s website.
For more information from reliable sources visit:
• ABC Live Blog for up to date and accurate information
• The Hack by triple j for engaging news updates for young adults
Help and Support if you’re in care
The first thing to do is to tell an adult if you are feeling unwell.
Coronavirus symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and a shortness of breath – go here to find more info. If you feel physically okay, but you are anxious about what’s happening, or if you are having trouble adjusting to social distancing, it’s important you talk to an adult or friend you can trust. Headspace have some good tips for this, but you also should talk to your carer or your caseworker about how you feel. Our friend Gus the Gorilla also has some advice on what things might look like for young people in care during the COVID-19 pandemic – check out Gus’ advice below and the other videos in this series here.
As a child or young person in care, you might have questions about what’s happening with coronavirus at the moment and how it affects you. It’s important you know who to call if you need to talk to someone about your care situation. It’s a good idea to make sure you have your caseworker’s, carer’s and any other important adult’s contact information safely stored so that you have it if you need it. If you need to contact your caseworker but don’t have their details, ask your carer or check out this link.
To read some other FAQs from children in care, take a look at our FAQ here.
Help and support if you are 18 or over
If you are a young person with a care experience living independently CREATE realises you might be doing it tough at the moment.
We are here to help with some information about support available to help you in a whole range of areas.
Need some help with the basics? Would you like to know where to find some emergency relief (food parcels, clothing, help with bills) in your area? Check out this handy search tool on the DSS website: https://bit.ly/3bzCOBR
Need help with your phone bill? Lots of companies are giving discounts and extra data now, check this page out – https://www.whistleout.com.au/Broadband/Guides/every-telco-COVID-19-coronavirus-assistance-package
For more information on financial support you may be eligible for, keep reading or click here
Read some COVID-19-related FAQ’s from young people 18 and over here.
Help and Support for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children, young people and families
We understand this is a challenging time for all, but with additional regulations on social distancing, maintaining cultural links is more important than ever. Here are a couple of useful resources to help nurture cultural connection and communication while talking about essential information throughout the COVID-19 situation.
COVID-19 Information in different languages
Information on remote area travel restrictions
Here are a couple of great video resources – the Baker Boy hand wash and a video from the Mulungu Health Service about preventing the spread of COVID-19 in communities:
Understanding Coronavirus – what is it and how to prevent it
Coronavirus is a virus that presents with symptoms like the common cold or flu – fever, coughing and sometimes a sore throat. If you or anyone in your household shows any of these symptoms, tell an adult or seek medical advice as quickly as possible.
For more information on the coronavirus visit the Australian Government website or visit the Department of Health’s website.
For carers looking after young kids, check out these helpful links for explaining COVID-19 to kids:
Dr Norman Swan from the ABC answers kid’s questions about Coronavirus
A great book for children to explain the coronavirus and how we can all help
National Public Radio in the US has produced a great comic strip Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus.
Hand-washing can help stop the spread of coronavirus, so learn how soap works with this kid friendly explainer
If you’re a carer or parent looking to talk to your child about coronavirus, UNICEF’s website has a resource with tips to comfort and protect children
If you’re a teacher or worker looking for tips on talking to children about coronavirus, check out this UNICEF resource. While this resource was developed for teachers, it can be easily adapted for use by other professional groups.
If you’re a parent or carer seeking to better understand how to safeguard children throughout the pandemic, check out these resources from ACU
The best way to help out and prevent the spread of coronavirus is to practice social distancing. For more information on what social distancing is check out this post from the Health Department.
For younger kids, check out our series with Gus the Gorilla for kids impacted by COVID-19 – in this episode Gus explains social distancing.
What about Centrelink/Financial support?
If you are in an area currently affected by the lockdown restrictions, there is some help available. Head here for more information. For more information on assistance, visit the Services Australia website.
headspace explain Centrelink support available for young people
Do you live with a disability? For changes to the NDIS.
- Remember, this is a stressful time for lots of people needing extra support so you may need to be patient. With so many people impacted, Centrelink is experienced a huge increase in demand and has asked people not to come into centres unless there was a “critical need” to.
- If proof of ID is required then those in self-isolation can provide it over the phone.
- A great place for general information about what you might need is here is on the Services Australia website.
Mental Health Support
It is completely understandable that you might be struggling with your mental health at this time.
Big changes in the world can be scary, and the social distancing restrictions can make us feel isolated or alone. If you are feeling sad or alone and nothing is able to cheer you up, its really important to reach out to someone who can help. Places like Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) Lifeline (13 11 14) are always available to support you in times of need.
Here are some other resources and information that might help:
Headspace have information on how young people can cope with the stress of COVID-19.
You can also find help on strategies to look after your mental health during COVID-19 on Lifeline’s website or Beyond Blue’s website.
Carers should also take a look at Parental as Anything with Maggie Dent – How to talk to kids about coronavirus and guide your family through it AND this great video from the Child Mind Institute in the US
As a child or young person all the news on coronavirus might have you worried, but this article is here to tell you there’s good news too!
You should never be ashamed if you need to reach out and talk to someone. The following support services are open 24/7 and available for you to contact during this crisis:
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 or suicidecallbackservice.org.au
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 or kidshelpline.com.au
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au
Young People dealing with Criminal Matters
If you are a young person currently dealing with criminal matters, some of the ways in which these proceedings take place may be changed or delayed.
This could mean changes to hearings, with some hearings being delayed or done remotely via phone or video link. It could also mean changes to bail conditions and different visitation with family while in custody.
It is important that you consult with your lawyer to understand what these changes mean for you. Each state will be a little bit different, and so it is important that you are getting information that is correct within your state, and relevant to your individual circumstances.
For more information or for extra support, check out these resources:
Legal Aid Queensland and this COVID-19 Update
Legal Aid New South Wales and their Fact Sheet for Young People. See also these helpful podcasts
Northern Territory Legal Aid Service
Legal Aid Victoria and this information on Criminal Proceedings during COVID-19
Legal Services Commission of South Australia and these fact sheets for Young People
Legal Aid Tasmania and their Coronavirus Update
What does Coronavirus mean for CREATE?
There have been lots of changes lately with the Coronavirus pandemic; we need to stay at home more often and some people have lost their jobs because of the government changes to make sure Coronavirus doesn’t spread. All of the changes are about making sure people stay healthy but it doesn’t mean they are easy! There will also be some changes at CREATE for the next little while, to keep our team and you safe. We’re still here and wanting to hear what YOU think about the care system – we’ll still be advocating to decision makers on the issues YOU have told us about to make changes that are now even more important given the pressures Coronavirus puts on our community.
Here are some of the temporary changes at CREATE for the next little while:
- CREATE’s activities and programs continue to be offered, however depending on your state they may be offered in different formats including us using Zoom, Skype and teleconferences.
- CREATE is still running, however, to protect our staff, during lockdown periods our staff may be working from home.
How do I contact CREATE staff during this time?
Our State Coordinators around Australia are the best people to contact during this time. They will be working hard remotely from the office and will continue to support and advocate for young people. Head here to get in touch with our State Teams!
Can I still have my say about being in care?
Yes! During this time CREATE is continuing to do research projects with young people in different parts of Australia, hearing young people’s perspectives and experiences through telephone and online surveys. Got a view you’d like to share? Or a question during these uncertain times? Or a message of support for everyone in the CREATE community? Send us a message on social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We need your input now more than ever!
What’s going on with the clubCREATE magazines? Can I still enter clubCREATE magazine competitions?
The clubCREATE Magazines will continue to be produce once every three months and all our competitions are currently open, so if you have spare time at home why not getting work an entry for your chance to WIN!! Check out the magazines here: https://create.org.au/magazines/