Charter Champions typically have a strong commitment to the rights of children and a belief in the value of a rights-based approach to ensuring their welfare and happiness.
Tracy Rafanelli, Program Co-ordinator at Magill Youth Training Centre* is no different. She says ‘Being a Charter Champion is an opportunity to promote the Charter within Magill and provide information and advice on the rights of children and young people in care.
‘I am a strong advocate for the rights of young people and I make sure Charter material is available and accessible to all young people and staff across the Centre.’
Champions come from all levels and roles within endorsing organisation. Youth workers, supervisors, managers and chief executives are all represented in the ranks of the Champions registered with the Guardian’s Office.
‘By endorsing the Charter, our staff are committed to supporting the rights of young people and acting on their behalf if they identify a need. Young people in Magill now have a clearer understanding of their rights from a range of sources,’ says Tracy.
As a Charter Champion at Magill, Tracy has made sure that the Charter of Rights posters and information sheets for staff and young people are posted in all of the units and program room. Water bottles and stress balls with rights messages have been provided to staff for distribution to young people in the units. Boxes of the rights flash cards are in units and available to be used by staff during a young person’s induction.
Tracy has spoken to the Centre’s Training Officer to arrange a presentation about the Charter to be made to Centre staff in the near future.
‘Young people at Magill are encouraged to contribute to their future by better understanding their rights, responsibilities and their options for the future.
‘They are able to better seek out opportunities if they are not provided with them,’ says Tracy.
There are 47 agencies that have endorsed the Charter of Rights and the registration of 19 new Champions since December 2011 brings the total to 135.
The full range of materials available to endorsing agencies for distribution to young people in care is available on our website materials page.
* Tracy is temporarily Acting Supervisor at Restitution Services South with the Community Youth Justice Program.
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