The Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian joined with other key partners from the child protection sector to participate in the ‘Voices in Action’ forum on 20 March.
More than 70 representatives from government agencies, NGOs and child welfare services discussed practical applications and the development of goal-orientated outcomes for improving participation by children and young people in the child protection system.
Commissioner Elizabeth Fraser opened the forum and spoke about how the Commission listens to and speaks up for children. "More than 170 Commission Community Visitors regularly visit children living in foster care to verify their safety and wellbeing, listen to their concerns and alert service providers to any issues which may need addressing." Ms Fraser said.
The Commission also engages young people through its Views surveys, which offer children and young people living away from home the opportunity to express their views about issues relevant to them and their experiences of the child protection and youth justice systems.
The Commission’s Views of Children and Young People in Foster Care 2010 report said young people felt the system could be improved by better departmental communication and more contact with their birth family and child safety officers. "It was also noted that half of the respondents felt they rarely or never have a say in what happens to them," Ms Fraser said.
Highlights of the forum included first-hand accounts from CREATE young consultants on what participation means to them and the value it brings to relationships with carers, case workers and individuals.
Forum delegates pledged a commitment to increase participation opportunities by children and young people. The forum, an initiative of G-Force, will build on this stakeholder engagement with further collaboration opportunities.
Representatives participating in the ‘Voices in Action’ forum
Last Updated: April 16, 2012