September Advocacy Update

Another month, another advocacy update from CREATE! There’s been so much going on this month in the Child Protection space around Australia. Each month our Influencing Committee meet to discuss the month that was, and sector issues we will be keeping tabs on as things progress. Here are our top updates from September.

Home Stretch Symposium

Last week the Homestretch symposium was held online over two days – and CREATE was excited to be a part of it. Advocates, practitioners, government decision makers and young people all came together to discuss the importance of extending supported placements, and to push for this change to come to fruition in Queensland and New South Wales. CREATE’s Executive Director of Research Dr Joseph McDowall spoke about the results of our Post-Care Report, which highlighted the fact that 30% of young people leaving care become homeless within the first 12 months. Some of CREATE’s Young Consultants shared their stories, and really brought to life the impact that extending care would have on the lives of young people coming through the system. 

Surrounding this event, we also had our CEO Jacqui Reed and Young Consultant Caroline, speak to ABC radio – Caroline was incredible and spoke so eloquently about her experience. You can listen to the interview here (timestamp 1hr 45min).

Child Protection Week 2021

With September of course comes Child Protection Week. This year, our state and territory teams were as active as ever, connecting with children and young people across the country to celebrate this years theme: what kids need to thrive. Our team in South Australia held a particularly impactful event – they were asked to paint a mural which reflected the voices and messages from young people in care. It is a beautiful piece of artwork, and will be a cornerstone of the community for many years to come. Well done team!

Snap that Stigma – Marusha

This month also saw the release of our latest round of clubCREATE magazines! This edition is packed with our latest advocacy updates, but our favourite article is definitely a spotlight on Young Consultant Marusha – a disability advocate and all-round amazing person. Make sure you check out this month’s magazines to read Marusha’s story and stay up to date with CREATE’s latest news.  

COVID-19 Vaccines 

With almost half the country still undergoing lockdown restrictions, the word on everyone’s lips at the moment is “vaccines”. While as a country we are seeing an increase in supply, there are still issues relating to access to vaccines for some of the countries most vulnerable children and young people. On top of this, many young people lack access to digital services like MyGov, which houses the digital vaccination certificate. We have put together a blog post which outlines information on vaccines for young people, with links to Government websites explaining how to access the vaccination certificates whether digitally or offline. We will continue to investigate this space and provide information to young people as the situation evolves. 

Residential Care in Queensland

This is an evolving story – one that we will be keeping a close eye on here at CREATE. We are excited by the notion put forward by the Queensland government to transition many children in residential care into home-based care settings, and will be looking to see the strategy behind implementing this change. Residential care is definitely a focus in Queensland currently – a CREATE Young Consultant spoke to ABC this month, and spoke about her experience of 43 residential care placements in 7 years – you can read the article here.

While these are some of the more major announcements from this month, we, as always, continue to chip away at our advocacy agenda as the weeks go on, and keep you informed via our social media channels. Make sure you are following us to stay up to date.