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CREATE’s Inaugural Best Practices Guide: Child-Centred Complaints Handling

Written on August 27, 2020

CREATE Foundation says that the way to develop a robust child protection system is to listen to children and young people.

In 2019, CREATE’s Voices in Action (ViA) Conference (Melbourne, Australia) brought together young people, carers, service professionals, and decision-makers to learn from each other and workshop key issues to improve the lives for children and young people with a care experience.

One of the key themes at the conference was the right of children and young people to speak up, particularly how they provide feedback and make complaints.

Without an independent, transparent, child-and-young-person-friendly, accessible and responsive complaints mechanism, how will the unique needs of those growing up in care be heard?

Based on workshop outcomes, the current complaints systems were found to be: not user friendly; children and young people feel that their voices aren’t heard; children and young people said they do not know who or how to make a complaint.

CREATE has listened to those who experienced the system first-hand and proceeded to develop a Best Practices Guide designed to improve the based on the true experts’ experience – the young people who have lived in the out-of-home care system.

CREATE Foundation’s Chief Executive, Ms Jacqui Reed, shared that, “Listening to young people respectfully is essential if we are to capture their lived experience of the care system in a meaningful way. Complaints systems must encourage children and young people to share their concerns and enable them to do so safely and without fear of repercussion.”

CREATE Foundation is the national consumer body representing the voices of children and young people with an out-of-home care experience (including kinship care, foster care and residential care). CREATE develops policy and research to report on and advocate for a better care system. For more information please visit the CREATE website at www.create.org.au

Download the Best Practices Guide here: https://create.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Best-Practice-Guide-Complaints-Updated.pdf

For further comment from CREATE’s Chief Executive, Ms Jacqui Reed, and/or a young person with care experience contact Leigh White, CREATE Communications Advisor, via (m) 0431 932 122 or leigh.white@create.org.au 

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