Commission Community Visitors (CVs) regularly visit children and young people under 18 years of age in foster care, residential facilities, authorised mental health facilities, and detention centres across Queensland. This enables them to assess each child’s or young person’s safety and well-being as well as check that they have access and services appropriate to their needs.
The Commission is an independent statutory body and the CVs are employed under the Commission’s legislation. Their independence from any government department or community organisation is a critical aspect that supports their role in advocating for the needs of children in care and monitoring their safety and well being.
The CVs work to ensure that the concerns, views and needs of children and young people are seriously listened to and these advocated on to the relevant people and organisations.
CVs come from many different backgrounds with a wide range of life skills and experience. One of the most important aspect of the attributes required to successfully fulfil the CV role is commitment to making a difference to the lives of children in care.
To help people in the broader community understand more about the valued work of CVs, the Commission will be profiling a number of stories about some of our CVs. The Commission regularly recruits CVs throughout Queensland. For more information, please contact the Individual Advocacy and Resolution Program on (07) 3211 6700.
Profile: Zarina Relajnovic, Northern Zone
I work in Northern Zone and this includes visiting children in Townsville, Burdekin and Charter Towers.
I enjoy hanging out with the kids and young people and listening to what they have to say. They are so resilient and listening to their stories is inspiring.
I love playing games and doing craft with them as they have so much fun. Jumping on the trampoline and playing with play dough isn’t really work!
I work part time so my typical day is a juggle of work and family life. On the days when my young child is at day care I start work around 7am and head out in the afternoon to do some visits. I do a bit more work in the evening, when the house is quite again.
I feel that the CVP program offers an extra layer of protection for children and young people in care. CV’s are a consistent avenue for children and young people to have a voice and provide opportunities to get to know someone who they can trust and who can strive to achieve the best possible outcomes for them. I think that the Commission and in particular its IARP Program is invaluable in the work they do for children in care.
Sometimes it can take a long time to resolve issues and keeping momentum going and a positive outlook can be a challenge. Debriefing with colleagues and my Zonal Manager (ZM) helps me to work through any issues and we do get there in the end.
Resolution of long standing issues is such a great feeling and it makes me so happy for the kids and young people to be able to get the outcomes they wanted.
I have no sense of direction, so my early days as a CV were a struggle as map reading is not my forte!
Last Christmas I was able to help a young person spend Christmas with his grandparents, which was a really positive outcome for them. Another example is a situation that involved months of advocating for young person to have regular visits from their family and this was achieved – which was so wonderful for that child.
I get called all sort of funny names as Zarina seems to be a bit hard for some children to get to grips with. And having a dance off on Wi Dance 2 with a young girl was fun but exhausting.
I see myself as being a CV for some time and I hope to complete my Masters in Social Work too.
It’s great to have found a job like the CV role which is rewarding, fun and flexible.
Last Updated: July 26, 2012