The Guardian’s Office received a record 96 in-mandate requests for advocacy in the first quarter of the new year, representing 127 children and young people.
This was an increase of 35 per cent in inquiries and a 24 percent increase in the number of children represented compared to the preceding quarter.
Last year the Office averaged 64 in-mandate requests per quarter. This follows the trend of an increase in the number of requests for advocacy and in the complexity of the issues raised.
The top five people who initiated in-mandate requests in July-September 2018 were:
Adults in the child’s life 42
Children and young people themselves 33
Department for Child Protection staff 10
Health, education and youth justice 5
Non-government organisations 3
The top five presenting issues (by inquiry) were:
Stability and security of placement 29
Participation in decision making 18
Contact with significant others 15
Appropriate care 24
These are also the top five issues identified in the Guardian’s 2017-18 Annual Report and substantially the same as those reported in previous years.
The 33 children and young people who requested advocacy directly were in the following care arrangements:
Residential care 16
Adelaide Youth Training Centre 5
Relative care 4
Foster care 2
Commercial (emergency) care 2
 The Guardian is mandated by legislation to promote the interests of children and young people below the age of 18 years who are living in out-of-home care. Another 17 inquiries were determined to be not within the Guardian’s mandate and those callers were assisted to make contact with a more appropriate organisation.
 Young people often present with multiple, interrelated issues. Presenting issues are counted as primary and secondary and these are added to achieve the numbers reported.