Hi there and thanks for reading our advocacy wrap up for December. We’ve got lots to update you on around our submissions, consultations, and research papers.
We’ve recently completed submissions to the Government in South Australia on the child protection system there as well reflections of First Nations young people on the use of the ATSI Child Placement Principle.
These two submissions brought the voices of young people in SA to the fore.
For the child protection system review, we were able to bring together the experiences young people shared in consultations over the last couple of years. This led to our submission being targeted to the needs and wishes of young people in South Australia. In response to the questions that the inquiry asked, we used the experiences of young people and their wishes for improvements in the system to direct our responses. If you take a look at our submission at the link above, you’ll see that it was particularly driven by the quotes and individual stories of young people with a care experience we spoke with in the lead-up to this submission.
The Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People in South Australia led the review of the use of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle in SA. We engaged directly with First Nations young people from SA and heard directly from them about their experiences with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle. From the voices of young people and the academic literature on effective practices for First Nations young people, we developed a pathway for improvements in the implementation of the placement principle. It includes better cultural awareness and safety training for DCP staff, place based, community led interventions to help support First Nations young people, empowering Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), and addressing systemic and institutional racism. Please head to our submission at the link above to read more about our pathway to improvement for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Placement Principle.
We’ve been working with Anglicare Southern Queensland on reviewing their residential care program and have just delivered our report, which will be reviewed by Anglicare. If you’d like to find out more about the residential care system, please head over and read our position paper on residential care, which makes a case for a strong realignment of the residential care system.
We have also finalised our consultation and report for the Queensland extension of care to 21 that the QLD Government announced earlier this year. We spoke with young people right around the state through direct conversations, group sessions, and surveys about what they would want to see for support until young people reach 21 years of age. As the QLD Government releases more information about what they propose for this program, we’ll be able to share more widely what young people have told us they want from this extension of care. As it stands at the moment, the QLD Government have heard directly from young people, they will then release their model for what this extension of care will look like, and then we will be able to bring the voices and views of young people directly to the Government. That way they know what young people need in Queensland (as well as New South Wales who have just set out on this journey themselves) need from an extension of care. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on this over the coming weeks and months.
We are also just finishing up on a project improving communication and structure of the Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA). We are working on this with the Department of Social Services alongside a market research company called WhereTo. Young people from right around the country are attending focus groups through which the Government is hearing all about how they can make TILA better. Stay tuned for what comes from that project!