Who is the Guardian for Children and Young People?
Penny Wright is the Guardian for Children and Young People (the Guardian). Penny promotes and advocates for the rights and best interests of children and young people in care in South Australia.
‘In care’ means children and young people under the guardianship of the Chief Executive of the Department for Child Protection who live with their relatives, foster family or in a residential care facility or independent living.
It is important to note that Penny is not the legal guardian for children in care but is here to ‘champion’ their rights.
What does the Guardian do?
Penny and her team have a range of functions to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in care. These include:
- promoting their rights and best interests
- advocating for them
- monitoring their circumstances to see if their wellbeing needs, rights and interests are being met
- advising the Minister for Child Protection on the quality of care provided to them
- making inquiries and advising the Minister about improvements that are needed to systems which affect their care
- investigating and reporting to the Minister on specific matters referred by the Minister
The Guardian is an independent role legislated in the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016, which reports to the Minister for Child Protection.