15 March 2016
At the Charter’s launch at the Adelaide Zoo in 2006, then Minister for Families and Communities, Jay Weatherill congratulated the children and young people, carers and professionals whose work created the Charter.
Children and young people in care ‘need to know they can expect to be treated well and cared for properly while they are under guardianship.
‘It also is crucial for them to know they have options if something goes wrong.
‘The Charter is a great way of telling them this and preventing problems such as abuse,’ he said.
Since the launch, over 60 government, non-government and commercial organisations have endorsed the Charter and applied it in their work. Over 200 Charter Champions within those organisations have taken on the responsibility to promote the Charter and support young people to make their rights a reality.
The Guardian’s office has made the Charter the centre of its monitoring and advocacy and hundreds of posters and thousands of booklets and other items promoting young people’s rights have been distributed.
After ten years, the Charter is due for review and throughout 2015, the team at the Guardian’s office has consulted with young people and adult stakeholders about the content of the Charter and how the messages about rights can best be conveyed.
‘The young people we spoke to were happy with most of the content and wording of the original Charter, but we will be proposing to the Minister some small but significant tweaks based on what they suggested,’ explained Guardian Amanda Shaw.
‘The new materials that are being developed to coincide with the revised Charter will focus on rights in action and encouraging young people and adults to use the rights to discuss and resolve needs and issues as they arise.
‘The revised Charter will also offer the opportunity for endorsed organisations to review their endorsement of the Charter and to re-commit to it.
‘We are very grateful to the 27 young people who worked with us on the review and to the staff of Key Assets, Families SA in Pt Augusta and Mt Barker and CreateSA who made the consultations happen.
‘The new-look Charter is a tribute to them.’
If the Minister approves of the revised Charter it will be tabled at a sitting of Parliament early in 2016.
This article originally appeared in the February 2016 edition of the Guardian’s Newsletter.