24 May 2016
After 10 years the Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care has been reviewed and the promotional materials re-designed. The Minister for Education and Child Development confirmed that the revised Charter was tabled and accepted in Parliament. New design work has recently been completed and the Charter was relaunched on May 10.
The Youth Justice Administration Act was passed by Parliament in March. The legislation provides additional sentencing options for young offenders, for a charter of rights for young people in youth justice detention and directs the establishment of an Official Visitor scheme. Paying particular attention to the needs and circumstances of young people in care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and young people with disabilities, the independent Official Visitor is to report on the treatment of residents and the management of the youth training centre..
Significant effort and achievement by those involved, particularly former Guardian Pam Simmons, was also recognised by our interstate and international counterparts, who acknowledged that South Australia originally paved the way for a charter recognising the rights of children in care..
Emphasising the special circumstances for students in out of home care or in the training centre, the Guardian and Senior Policy Officer gave evidence to the Legislative Council Inquiry into Access to the Education System for Students with Disabilities based on our written submission..
A submission was made to the National Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Out of Home Care.
The Office’s annual summary report of child protection expenditure in South Australia was released.
In the four months, January to April, there were 51 requests for intervention about children under guardianship, involving 76 children. The Senior Advocate audited 11 annual reviews for children under long-term orders and the Advocates made 4 official visits to residential and youth justice facilities..
The GCYP welcomed Michelle Hopkins to the staff team as an Advocate and in late March farewelled Melissa Clarke who after five years with the Office has accepted a position with the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement.
This article was first published in the May 2016 edition of the Guardian’s Newsletter.
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