Children and young people in out-of-home care have particular needs that must be addressed in order to ensure their safety and improve their emotional, physical and psychological well-being.
The charter of rights under the Child Protection Act 1999, section 74 and Schedule 1 describes the core rights that apply to every child and young person who is subject to the custody or guardianship of our department.
The Act establishes the following rights for children and young people in care:
- to be provided with a safe and stable living environment
- to be placed in care that best meets the child's needs and is most culturally appropriate
- to maintain relationships with the child's family and community
- to be consulted about, and to take part in making, decisions affecting the child's life (having regard to the child's age or ability to understand), particularly decisions about where the child is living, contact with the child's family and the child's health and schooling
- to be given information about decisions and plans concerning the child's future and personal history, having regard to the child's age or ability to understand
- to privacy, including, for example, in relation to the child's personal information
- if the child is under the long-term guardianship of the Chief Executive, to regular review of the child's care arrangements
- to have access to dental, medical and therapeutic services, necessary to meet the child's needs
- to have access to education appropriate to the child's age and development
- to have access to job training opportunities and help in finding appropriate employment
- to receive appropriate help with the transition from being a child in care to independence, including, for example, help about housing, access to income support and training and education
We must advise a child or young person of their rights.
All children and young people have a right to participate in decision making about their own life. Children and young people's participation is a right, not an option.
The Child Protection Act, section 5 establishes participation as a legal right for children and young people.
The legislation requires that the Act is administered in a way that ensures the views of the child and the child's family are considered and the child and the child's parents have the opportunity to take part in making decisions affecting their lives.
The Act has clear requirements for seeking and considering the views of children and young people, and includes a charter of rights for those children and young people who are in the custody or guardianship of the chief executive.
Our polices and procedures, as outlined in our Child Safety Practice Manual, require the participation of children at key decision making points throughout the case planning cycle.
These books are distributed to all young people entering care in Queensland, and supplements the information and advice already provided to children and young people by the department.
- Kid's rights , aimed at 4 to 10 year olds, is in the form of a children's story book, and is distributed complete with a set of colouring pencils that can be used throughout.
- My journey in care My journey in care , aimed at 10 to 18 year olds, uses a notebook style layout with cartoons and photos, including Indigenous artwork from a young person in care.