The Charter of Rights in action

picture of students hearing about the Charter of Rights
Nicole Plikington and Sarah Meakin talking with third and fourth year social work students on placement with the Department for Child Protection about the Charter of Rights. With thanks to Jessica Pellegrino from DCP Learning and Development.

28 November 2017

Mission Australia, as a rights-based organisation, found a natural fit with the Charter of Rights says Flexible Learning Option (FLO) Case Manager for Mission Australia, Danielle Stewart.

‘We see a number of young people in care in FLO, but the Charter also appeals to us because the rights are so widely applicable to all of the young people we work with.

‘We find the materials useful, particularly the posters.  It isn’t always easy to start a conversation about rights with some of our young people but having material in the background all of the time helps.

‘In my role of Charter Co-ordinator for Mission Australia it is a challenge to keep up enthusiasm and momentum.

‘Regular training and Charter updates for staff would be a real benefit. I am sure that government child protection staff discuss the Charter during staff induction but it can be hard to take everything in at one time. Later on, there are staff changes and, when there is so much going on day-to-day, thinking about the Charter and rights can drift into the background.

‘We have been very successful in FLO making use of games to aid learning in an entertaining and non-threatening way.  It would be good to have Charter tools like that to use.

‘Advocating for a young person with someone from another organisation when you notice something wrong can be difficult. We have had situations where our staff have been unsure of their power to intervene.

‘Transitioning from care is one of the major challenges for the young people we work with.  We like to form partnerships with people in other organisations around the young person but people are busy and sometimes do not get back.

To this time, 85 organisations have endorsed the Charter of Rights.

This item first appeared in the November 2017 Guardian’s Newsletter which is available for download now.

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