CREATE in Victoria hosted its third annual ‘Hour of Power’ event in Melbourne on Thursday 4th August. This year, the event attracted a large out-of-home care sector audience including Andrew Jackomos, Aboriginal Commissioner for Children and Young People, Rhiannon Nicholls, Senior Advisor for Minister Jenny Mikakos, and Liana Buchanan, Commissioner for Children and Young People.
The Hour of Power (HOP) is an opportunity for CREATE young people to talk about issues in out-of-home-care that are important to them. It is a platform for them to set the agenda and topic themselves, and facilitate discussions on a panel with key decision
makers, and workshop through topics in the sector.The young people are able to share their perspectives, lived in experiences and ideas for service changes, and it also gives the audience the opportunity to ask questions and gain direct feedback from young
This HOP also provided an ideal platform for CREATE and the Victorian Government to launch the leaving care mobile app, Sortli is a mobile app specially created for young people with a care experience and is packed with information to help them in their transition from care to independence.
This year HOP topics centred on youth participation and co-design and their importance to young people in care. When young people are encouraged, supported, taught how to have a voice, and have a nurturing environment, they feel empowered and motivated. By being truly involved and feeling that their participation matters can have ripple effects across their lives.
Four key concepts that the CREATE young people discussed at the Hour of Power include:
– Young people having an education which best meets their individual needs
– Young people developing skills that assist them to progress in life, such as learning how to make decisions and knowing what to do when things don’t work out so they can sustain their independence
– Young people having good role models and mentors who can guide them through supported decision making
– Young people having higher aspirations of themselves so they see that it is possible for them to be actively involved and to know that their voice matters.
Leaving care is also an important area that young people want to ensure they are being heard on. While most of the young people on the panel agree more needs to be done to improve current processes around leaving care, support systems were highlighted as a key factor to help young people in their transition. Sortli is a welcome addition to current leaving care resources available for young people in Victoria. The young people presenting the app are excited that Sortli is a resource that they can utilise outside of their caseworker or carers. It’s a pocket guide for the seven domains outlined in a National Framework of areas that are important in the leaving care process, and its introduction in the sector will hopefully be a point of reference for all young people leaving care.
The key takeaway from the event is that different perspectives see different solutions. Including young people and ensuring they have a voice in their lives, ensuring they have control over their future is a stepping stone in the right direction.
If you would like any more information about Sortli, please download the flyer below or contact CREATE on 1800 655 105.