CREATE Foundation acknowledges the complexity of keeping children safe, yet is very concerned to hear of any instances of failings to protect a child. As an independent advocate for children and young people in care, CREATE calls for greater commitment by government to independent external monitoring of the system, for all placement types including foster carers.
Every person in care has the right to feel safe and that their voice will be heard. Governments need to ensure that they provide external child-friendly mechanisms to monitor the child protection system itself, to keep children safe and well while they are in the care system. Most foster carers are caring people who open up their hearts and homes to assist vulnerable children and positively impact their lives. There are established and robust process for selecting assessing and monitoring carers.
“In more than two decades, I have witnessed a great deal of change first-hand, with a recent significant change being the previous Newman Government’s step to cut funding for both independent Community Visitors (to foster homes) and for independent advocates that make it possible for children and young people to access a supportive, independent voice,” -Jacqui Reed, CREATE’s Chief Executive.
Through our consultations with children and young people since 2006, we’ve learned that 35% are homeless within in the first year of leaving care (at 18), only 35% completed Year 12 (compared to that of the general population) and 46% of boys are involved with the juvenile justice system. In addition to these figures, 29% are unemployed (compared to the national average which is 9.7%) and 28% were already parents themselves.
CREATE calls for government to keep children safe by galvanising the system to achieve optimum performance, guided by regular external monitoring. A child friendly approach would include the voices of children who have a lived experience of the system.
To read the full media release, click here.