Charter for children in out-of-home care

The Charter for children in out-of-home care has been prepared specifically for children and young people who cannot live with their parents and are in out-of-home care. It lists what they should expect from all those people who look after them and work with them while they are in care. This charter also provides a guide for workers and carers about the sorts of things they need to make sure happen for children and young people in their care.

A child and young person’s rights

As a child and young person I need:

  • to be safe and feel safe
  • to stay healthy and well, and go to a doctor, dentist or other professional for help when I need to
  • to be allowed to be a child and be treated with respect
  • if I am an Aboriginal child, to feel proud and strong in my own culture
  • to have a say and be heard
  • to be provided with information
  • to tell someone if I am unhappy
  • to know information about me will only be shared in order to help people look after me
  • to have a worker who is there for me
  • to keep in contact with my family, friends and people and places that matter to me
  • careful thought being given to where I will live, so I will have a home that feels like a home
  • to have fun and do activities that I enjoy
  • to be able to take part in family traditions, and be able to learn about and be involved with cultural and religious groups that are important to me
  • to be provided with the best possible education and training
  • to be able to develop life skills and grow up to become the best person I can
  • help in preparing myself to leave care and support after I leave care.

There is a range of resources designed to help children and young people understand their rights in care, to assist staff to engage with them about their rights, and to help agencies embed this charter into their policies and procedures. See the Charter for children in out-of-home care resources section on the department’s website for further information at https://services.dffh.vic.gov.au/charter-children-out-home-care.

Carers Recognition Act 2012

Victoria has legislation that recognises, promotes and values the role of carers. The Carers Recognition Act 2012 formally acknowledges the important contribution that people in care relationships make to our community and the unique knowledge that carers hold about the child or young person in their care.

The Victorian charter supporting people in care relationships

The Carers Recognition Act 2012 is supported by The Victorian charter supporting people in care relationships and includes situations where someone is being cared for under the Act in a kinship, foster or permanent care arrangement.

As a carer, you should:

  • be respected and recognised:–as an individual with your own needs–as a carer–as someone with special knowledge of the person in your care
  • be supported as an individual and as a carer, including during changes to the care relationship
  • be recognised for your efforts and dedication as a carer, and for the social and economic contribution to the community arising from your role as a carer
  • have your views and cultural identity taken into account, together with the views, cultural identity, needs and best interests of the child or young person for whom you care, in matters relating to the care relationship. This includes when decisions are made that impact on you and the care relationship.
  • have your social wellbeing and health recognised in matters relating to the care relationship
  • have considered in decision making the effect of being a carer on your participation in employment and education.

Useful resources

Carers Recognition Act 2012 https://providers.dffh.vic.gov.au/carers-recognition-act-2012/

Charter for children in out-of-home care https://services.dffh.vic.gov.au/charter-children-out-home-care

Victorian charter supporting people in care relationships https://www.carersvictoria.org.au/web-assets/victorian-government/charter-supporting-care-relationships/

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