The Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care grew out of consultation with children and young people, carers, social workers and people from government and non-government organisations. The final look of the printed materials drew heavily on the advice of an advisory group of young people who were either in care or who had been in care.
It was officially launched by the then Minister for Families and Communities, Jay Weatherill in a celebration at the Adelaide Zoo on 19 April 2006.
Since then, 42 agencies have endorsed the Charter, committing to apply it in their policy and day-to-day practice. The agencies who have endorsed are diverse including both government and non-government organisations providing a wide range of support in alternative care, youth, aboriginal, disability, education and health services.
The Charter remains central to the Office’s goal of making it work for kids in care. The strategies for implementing and evaluating the impact of the Charter are clearly set out in our Strategic Plan 2007 – 2010.
In 2009 we will be:
- contacting or renewing contact with the Charter champion in each endorsing agency
- actively assisting agencies to implement and embed the Charter into their everyday business
- helping agencies to assess and document how well they are progressing in implementing the Charter and promoting the rights of children and young people in care
- getting feedback from agencies about their successes and difficulties in implementing the Charter and identifying the way forward
- hosting a forum focussing on an issue relating to children’s rights
- making available tools and practical resources to support and promote implementation of the Charter
- publishing articles on the Charter and children’s rights in our quarterly newsletter.
Resources already in place include posters and brochures explaining and promoting the Charter for children and young people, their carers and to others who work directly with them. The posters and brochures are available in two different styles. The Office also makes available frequently asked questions about the Charter and a series of checklists that endorsing agencies can use and customise to meet their own circumstances on the Charter of Rights page of the Guardian’s website.
To read more about the Charter visit the Guardian’s Charter of Rights page.
If you would like to discuss ways to use and promote the Charter within your agency, please email Nicole Pilkington@gcyp.sa.gov.au or phone (08) 8226 8429.