What’s been done March – May 2012

The Office’s report on a case file audit to assess unmet need for mental health services among children and young people in care was released on 16 February.  Discussion has commenced with agencies affected by the findings.

The report on the wellbeing of children and young people in care for 2010-11 was released on 26 April, following discussion with the Departments about the conclusions. This year the Office reported on safety, placement stability, family contact and participation in decisions.

Following internal reviews of our individual advocacy activity and the visits to young people in residential care some changes have been made.  Changes in individual advocacy will re-emphasise hearing directly from the child or young person.

Relationships Australia (SA) has endorsed the Charter of Rights, taking the total number of endorsing agencies to 47.  The Charter Implementation Committee continues to meet quarterly to share information about issues and challenges in meeting the rights and the Charter Champions now number 124.  Many Charter Champions are now using the special Champions graphic on their email signature to show their support for the Charter and young people’s rights.

In the first quarter of 2012 the Office visited 11 residential sites and audited 31 annual reviews.

picture of cover of assessment toolIf you missed its release in January, there is a new tool on the ISG resources page  to help you assess your ISG (information sharing) procedures for both content and quality. The other good news in this regard was the Commonwealth Privacy Commissioner’s ruling that SA non-government organisations will not be in breach of National Privacy Principles by sharing information where serious harm can be anticipated, provided they follow the ISG.

The Youth Advisors provided advice on parallel planning for young people leaving care and barriers to accessing health services.

Office staff and youth advisors have contributed to community visitor (mental health) training, workplace learning for Families SA staff, development of a carer assessment panel and therapeutic principles for residential care.

Jodie Evans has joined us as an Advocate, replacing Belinda Lorek who is on parental leave.  Jodie brings a wealth of experience in youth justice, here and in the UK, and assisting vulnerable witnesses in prosecutions.

All the latest news from the Office is on our Twitter feed.

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