January-February Advocacy Wrap-Up

CREATE was pleased when the Queensland Government gave permission to include the literature review, produced as part of the recent Extended Care consultation, as a CREATE publication. It has been placed on our website and has been lodged with INTRAC (International Research Network on Transitioning to Adulthood from Care).

During the last two months, two more consultations with young people in care have been completed: reports have been finalised for the Siblings consultation in SA, and for the Support from caseworkers in VIC. Thank you to all the young people who shared their thoughts and experiences in these projects. The Key Messages summaries will be available on CREATE’s website soon.

In this last half of the financial year, work is in progress on the six remaining consultations: the report for WA Siblings is being written, and interviews have completed for NSW Complaints and NT Access Your records (NT also has a planned consultation on Education commencing in March).

The remaining two consultations represent an important development. CREATE is concerned with ensuring young people in care are able to maintain their physical and mental well-being. To this end we have developed a new consultation on Health and Well-being. Questions have been formulated based on the literature and young persons’ reports;  these were then reviewed by a group of Young Consultants and their feedback incorporated. Interviews with young people will begin in TAS and WA in March and continue through April. It is planned for this consultation to be conducted in other states and territories in the next financial year.

When appropriate, CREATE is pleased to join with Universities as a Partner Organisation (with a Partner Investigator on the design team). A recent collaboration with Uni TAS, Uni SA, ANU, and ACU was successful in attracting an ARC Linkage grant to study the prevalence and consequences of disruptions young people in care face to their educational experience through forms of exclusion (suspensions, absences). It is hoped the findings will help inform policy development to minimise such disruptions. The project commences in 2023.

CREATE was pleased to provide a submission to the Commissioner for Children and Young People in TAS questioning the government plan to re-allocate young people in stable placements to caseworker teams rather than an individual caseworker as has been the previous arrangement. Given how important personal relationships are to young people, such a team approach, with at present substantial team caseloads, seems a retrograde action.

Until next time!