As hard as it is to believe that we’ve reached the end of October, and that the end of 2021 is looming closer – here we are! This month at CREATE we saw a flurry of activity in our advocacy work with some really solid media coverage, social campaigns, speaking events and more. Not to mention, our Annual Review for 2021 has just been released, showcasing our work over the past year. Check it out!
Our Influencing Committee met again this month, providing updates and insights into the progress of CREATE’s advocacy agenda. Throughout October we continued to promote the post-care report through our socials and state teams. This is a crucial part of our advocacy, with the #MakeIt21 a front and centre priority that we continually need to push. Our report highlighted that 30% of young people leaving care become homeless within the first 12 months – raising the leaving care age is just one small step forward towards better outcomes in this space.
Let’s take a look at some of the noteworthy updates for the past few weeks and recap CREATE’s advocacy work in October:
In the media
We had a huge amount of media activity in the last few weeks, with our CREATE CEO and Young Consultants being featured across the country on ABC news, ABC online, regional radio and more! Take a look at some of the stories from October:
- CREATE young person talks about her experience having 43 Residential care placements in 7 years
- CREATE Young Consultant Felicity talks about the impact of transition support in South Australia
- Extending Queensland’s foster care age to 21 could spare trauma and save $400 million – featuring Young Consultant James
Snap that Stigma Campaign
As always, our Snap that Stigma campaign is front and centre of our social media channels, as we share the incredible stories of care-experienced young people who have shattered the barriers and stigma that being in care can bring. This campaign is one of our most widely recognised campaigns. We are currently working on a podcast, hosted by our two Young Consultant members of the Influencing Committee, as another platform to share these wonderful stories. Watch this space!
Speaking Events and Presentations
This month was chock-full of speaking engagements, presentations and opportunities for us to share CREATE’s mission with new audiences. Our Executive Director (Research) Dr Joseph McDowall spoke at the Home Stretch Symposium about the Post-Care Report findings, as well as presenting a paper at the EUSARF International Conference and Baptist Care National Conference this month. In addition to advocating in these large forums, Dr McDowall also presented a number of guest lectures at the Queensland University of Technology to justice and social work students, shaping the next generation of professionals in the industry and highlighting the importance of listening to children and young people voices.
CREATE Young Consultant Jake, presented as a witness to the Parliamentary Committee Hearing reviewing CREATE’s submission regarding the Child Protection Reform Amendment Bill 2021. The Bill legislates for more opportunities for young people to be involved in decision making and having a say about their life in the care system.
Young People's voices driving change
While all of this stuff is going on in the spotlight, there’s also a tonne of work being done behind the scenes to ensure that children and young people’s voices are leading the charge when it comes to policy change. Two major vehicles CREATE uses for this are submissions to Governments, and through our consultation reports, which get fed back to NGOs and Departments to provide a clear picture of what young people think or feel about a particular topic.
Here are a few of our recent submissions – to see all of our submissions head here.
- The Review and Redesign of Post-Care Services in South Australia
- Raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility in the ACT
- Implementing the successor plan to the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s children
We also asked young people about the following topics in our consultations this month, and produced reports which were fed back to the relevant body, to impact change:
Please note, not all of our consultations are able to be publicly available. To see more about the consultations that are available, head here.
But wait, there's more! Other Updates from CREATE
A major topic for discussion at our Influencing Committee last month was around the COVID-19 vaccines. Currently prevalent in the zeitgeist, with more and more states getting ready to open up, increasing vaccination rates amongst vulnerable populations has become more important than ever. We know that social media and the online world is where most young people get their information from – we also know that there is a lot of misinformation that goes around on these channels. In the coming months we will be working with the Victorian Government, and young people in residential care in Victoria to produce some social media, video and animated resources to encourage young people in these vulnerable settings to make informed decisions about the vaccine, highlighting the positive impacts on the individual and the community once we reach those vaccination targets. Keep an eye out for these resources as they become available.
STAY UP TO DATE
Don’t forget, we produce a quarterly magazine for children and young people with updates, activities and competitions so make sure you take a look and share them with your networks.
We also produce a monthly newsletter to keep you up to date – if you’re not subscribed, you should be! And you can do so below.
We also post daily updates on social media. If you’re not following us, check out our channels below and make sure you follow us to stay up to date. We appreciate all the support and engagement with our content!