18 February 2016
The report on what we learnt about the circumstances for children under guardianship of the Minister from the 2014-15 audit of annual reviews was released in September. This report is a good indication of the circumstances of the group as a whole, the quality of casework practice and systemic strengths and weaknesses.
The Charter of Rights for children and young people in care was reviewed in 2015 and some important changes made to the text, following feedback from children and young people. The revised text will be tabled in Parliament in February. New graphic designs to accompany the new text will be released in the first half of 2016.
The Charter of Rights Implementation Committee had its final 2015 meeting in November with an informative presentation by Kate Cameron, Churchill Fellow, on out of home care for young people with disabilities
The consultation on a model charter of rights specific to detention facilities was completed in October. In December, the Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion accepted the Charter of Rights for Children and Young People Detained in Youth Justice Facilities. We will follow its promotion and monitoring in the Adelaide Youth Training Centre.
A written submission was made to the Legislative Council Inquiry into Access to the Education System for Students with Disabilities emphasising the special circumstances for students in out of home care or in detention.
A submission was made to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs inquiry into the educational opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
In the six months, July to December 2015 there were 64 requests for intervention about children under guardianship, involving 76 children. The Senior Advocate audited 98 annual reviews for children under long-term orders and Advocates made ten official visits to residential or youth justice facilities.
A survey of our Information Service subscribers in December drew 358 responses to the question ‘how would you spend extra money on child protection?’ The survey report showed early intervention and family support as the most popular option by a great margin.
This first appeared in the February 2016 edition of the Guardian’s Newsletter.