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During Care

Understanding Care Orders

You can make some sense of your time in care by understanding why you were placed in care and the guidelines outlined in your care order.

Being armed with this knowledge gives you a greater understanding of the Department for Child Protection’s role in your well-being and keeping you safe.

Charter of Rights

There is a Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care. You are entitled to expect the Department to abide by these rights.

1. I have the right to assistance that promotes my education, care, health and mental wellbeing needs.

2. I have the right to participate in activities such as hobbies, sport, music, dance and art (and I will do my best to develop my interests).

3. I have the right to be kept informed about my care plan, and my views about the plan be considered.

4. I have the right to be respected (and to treat others the same too).

5. I have the right to raise an issue or concern with my case worker, foster carer and/or Advocate for Children in Care.

6. I have the right to privacy and have my own things.

7. I have the right to be heard (and listen to other people’s views and opinions).

8. I have the right to get help and support to go to court regarding my care.

9. I have the right to have contact with my family and friends whenever possible.

10. I have the right to be encouraged and supported in my religion and culture.

11. I have the right to proper planning before leaving care.

12. I have the right to be safe.

At any time if you feel that your rights are not being upheld you can contact the Advocate for Children in Care.

It is not essential but it could be a good idea to first speak to your case worker or their team leader about your problem.

If you still feel it isn’t sorted out, you can contact the Advocate for Children in Care, Judy Garsed. Her telephone number is 9222 2518. If you call after 5pm leave a message or text her on 0429 086 508.

Visit the website link below to learn more about your rights and about the Advocate for Children in Care

Advocate for Children in Care

Find out from your case worker which care order is relevant to you, then have a look at the information following about each order. This will give you a better understanding of your relationship with the Department.

What is a protection order?

39.9k Portable document format

What is a negotiated placement agreement?

40.7k Portable document format

Contact with family and significant others

Contact with your family or other important people can take many forms. It may involve overnight stays, face-to-face visits, telephone calls or letters. Contact may be supervised or unsupervised depending on your circumstances.

Contact arrangements should involve everyone who is important to you, such as parents, brothers and sisters, other extended family members, ex-caregivers, family friends etc. You should be able to have contact with these people unless it could harm you in some way.

What if you don’t want contact?

Talk to your case worker about the amount of contact that you wish to have. Usually, having contact with your family is important, as it helps maintain links with them and other people who are important to you. We know that children can suffer when they are separated from people they are attached to.

Even though contact may be stressful, some form of contact is usually better than no contact at all. If you are not living with your brothers or sisters you may be able to have contact with them separately to your parents, if you prefer this.

There may be people who you do not want to have contact with at all, especially if they have hurt you in the past. With serious concerns you may be able to get a Restraining Order. Your case worker can assist you with this prior to you leaving care to ensure it is in place.

Self-Selected Placements

What if you choose a self selected placement while you are in care?

A self selected placement is a place that the Department did not choose for you to live in but one you found yourself such as with a friend or friend’s family. If you are under 18 and still in the care of the CEO, the Department will need to check out the people and place to make sure it is safe and suitable.

If it is not a suitable situation for you, the Department will discuss other placement options with you.

Overnight Leave

Do I need permission to stay with other people?

Should you want to only stay overnight with families other than your foster family, you will need to check with your carer.