PRESS RELEASE … MONDAY, 25 JUNE 2018.
GRANDPARENTS AND KINSHIP CARERS RELEASE AN ELECTION LOG OF CLAIMS
GPV/KCV has developed a ‘Log of Claims’ to be addressed in the forthcoming Victorian state election and beyond.
Grandparents Victoria/Kinship Carers Victoria is a statewide organisation with the best interests of all children at the core of its work. It is with this scope in mind that the claims have been developed. The claims are fitting when considering both the current and future needs of the grandchildren.
‘GPV/KCV takes seriously the articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), to which Australia is a signatory, and expects that leaders across Australia, be they at national, state, regional or local level, will do the same. All fourteen claims are based in the articles of the UNCRC,’ said Anne McLeish. Director of GPV/KCV.
‘Five of the claims are closest to our hearts, in that GPV/KCV has determined that they will have far-reaching positive effects on the lives of families and the children within them,’ said Mrs. McLeish. Primary amongst them is the call for a system of child impact statements that would help guarantee children’s rights.
GPV/KCV calls on the Victorian Government and its agencies to document the impact that any changes to legislation/policy will have on outcomes for children. Every piece of legislation, as well as all changes to regulations and practices, should be accompanied by a ‘Child Impact Statement’ (CIS) consisting of an analysis predicting the potential outcomes for child wellbeing in the medium, short and long terms.
Each CIS must measure the extent to which policy and practice contributes to improved adherence to the following rights for children and young people in out-of-home care.
The positive outcomes for children in kinship care are astounding, with many of our most traumatised children being ‘turned away’ from a life of isolation and loneliness to one of fulfilment and ongoing connection with family. Despite this, kinship carers continue to suffer unreasonable hardship, sometimes perpetrated by authorities that should know better.
This grim knowledge leads GPV/KCV to call for a review of cases where children have been placed by DHHS or the courts in kinship care and where a case has been quickly closed, with no further support from DHHS forthcoming.
GPV/KCV believes that education is a key element in ensuring positive outcomes for children as they mature into adult life and that children have the right to a high-quality education that ensures that all students experience success at school.
This understanding has lead GPV/KCV to call for reinforcement of the capacity of the Education Lookout Centres to do more work better in their efforts to support children with learning problems.
GPV/KCV believes that it is the responsibility of a civilised society to have an equitable welfare system that operates as a safety net to ensure that families have access to the basic necessities of life. Therefore, welfare measures should support families without stigmatising them, and enable them to better their circumstances, rather than crushing them.
This foundation understanding leads GPV/KCV to call on the Victorian Government to stop all use of the cashless welfare card within Victorian borders until credible longitudinal research indicates that it has sufficient benefits to warrant taking away people’s rights to manage their own affairs.
GPV/KCV believes in a child’s right to enjoy good health and high-quality health care, and that ensuring children’s wellbeing relies in part on encouraging a healthy lifestyle.
The need to promote positive self-help approaches to life has led us to call on the government to establish a broadly-based state committee to affirm the many exciting approaches to play currently being implemented and to further support Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to be able to play. The UN has made this article an issue of international significance that Australia should be doing more to promote.
‘Given Australia’s resources, compared with other UN countries, we should be playing a leadership role and perhaps even partnering with some poverty-stricken countries to support children play,’ said Anne McLeish
‘GPV/KCV contends these claims should be the subject of ongoing action by government to ensure that the issues are addressed by a government lead co-ordinated approach to both policy and practice in relation to each one.’
To download the complete log of claims, click here. (PDF format 134KB)
Further comment Anne McLeish (03) 9372 2422
(mobile number on application)