Each Australian state and territory government’s Charter of Rights for children and young people in care includes the right to participate in the decisions that affect their lives. Check out our My Rights in Care for more information.
It is important to take part in decisions about your life because it helps you to control your own life and your future and it can help you become more confident and prepared for when you are an adult and need to make more of your own decisions. clubCREATE members and CREATE Young Consultants made this helpful handout that talks about what you can participate in and different ways you can participate: Why Wait Participate? – Information for Children & Young People.
As a young person in care you have a right to have your say about decisions made about your life. A really important chance to do this is at your case plan meetings. Sometimes it can be difficult to have your say in relation to your case plan, however we think it is really important for you to be able to have a say on the things that are important to them. For example where you want to live, where they want to go to school, what sports that they would like to participate in. Even though you may not always be able to get what you want, it is important that you are asked about what you would like to happen.
In order to help young people have their say, CREATE has worked together with the Queensland government to make a short film that we hope gives you the inspiration to participate in the development of your case plans have your say:
It is important to understand that the concept of participation can have different meanings in different cultural contexts. In the below video two Aboriginal CREATE Young Consultants talk about what participation means to them.
In South Australia, CREATE and the SA Office of the Guardian have partnered to make resources to help children and young people in residential care speak up issues that concern them.
There’s the Post Incident Reflection Form developed with input from young people in residential care to help children and young people have their say after incidents occur .
Posters, brochures and two videos are also available that tell children and young people in residential care about their rights and ways to address issues.
Children and young people in out-of-home care across Australia have told CREATE that living with their brothers and sisters in care is very important and that they are the people they most want to contact when they are not living together. Our research shows that many children and young people do not live with all of their siblings in out-of-home care, and contact with the siblings who are not placed with them is not always regular or easy to access.
CREATE worked with our young people through our Youth Advisory Groups across Australia to make this information sheet about how you can stay connected with your brothers and/or sisters while you are in care: CREATE Sibling Placement Resource – for young people
Children and young people with a care experience are at the centre of the work that we do. This diagram shows how children and young people engage with CREATE and participate in our mission to create a better life for children and young people in care. At CREATE we achieve our mission through our motto; CONNECT to EMPOWER to CHANGE. Children and young people can engage with any of our services and programs that fall under these banners.
If you’re in care, clubCREATE is the place for you! clubCREATE is the entry point to all things CREATE – we’ve got magazines with fun activities, quizzes and great articles for kids in care, just like you. You can also come along to some of our awesome events – to connect with other children and young people in care or have your say!