New approach to capture the voices of children and young people
A key action in Territory Families Strategic Plan 2017-2020 is to establish a mechanism to ensure the voices of
children and young people, including those in care and within the youth justice
system, are heard and responded to.
It is well understood that children
and young people need to be involved in making decisions about their care, as
it improves the way they feel about themselves. They have the right to express
their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, to have their
views considered and taken seriously as acknowledged in the Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care in the Northern Territory.
On Monday 4 December 2017,
Territory Families will implement a survey called Viewpoint to assist case
managers to better involve children and young people in the consultation,
decision-making and development of their care plans.
self-assessment questionnaires which can be undertaken by children and young
people online or offline in a range of locations. Viewpoint is an interactive graphical resource
offering colourful screens, animated avatars and speech to navigate the
This visual tool was used in 2015
in the inaugural Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National survey intoOut of Home Care and was positively received by 97% of those who participated. As a result it was decided to use Viewpoint as
a permanent resource to support case management practice.
The responses given in the survey
will be used by Case Managers to develop or review care plans and provide
services based on individual needs of children and young people aged 5 to 17
s encouragement will be
critical in supporting the child or young person in care to use Viewpoint
as an important tool to have a say and ensure their voices are heard.
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Viewpoint Information for Carers.pdf
Charter of rights launches new foster care partnership
A charter of rights for foster and kinship carers has been
launched as the first step of a new program to strengthen the relationship
between carers and Territory Families.
The charter, which has been developed by the Foster Carers
Association of the NT in consultation with Territory Families, was
launched by the Minister for Territory Families, Dale Wakefield, at an event at
Parliament House on 26 May.
The charter is part of a broader program between the Foster Carers Association of the NT and
Territory Families to recognise the role of carers in the care of vulnerable
children, and to celebrate and promote their work.
It sets out eight rights, and the behaviours that are
required to fulfil those rights:
- Be respected
- Be informed
- Be consulted
- Be supported
- Feel safe
- Be valued
- Be treated fairly
- Have your privacy and confidentiality respected.
The event also hosted the premiere of a video in which
carers speak about the importance of the charter, and the rights it promotes.
Territory Families deputy CEO Jeanette Kerr said the charter
would guide Territory Families as it worked to improve the circumstances and
wellbeing of children in out of home care, their families and carers.
She emphasised the importance of foster and kinship carers and
said the charter would be the foundation of Territory Families’ relationship
“I acknowledge that some of you have not always felt valued
and supported by government agencies,” she said.
“Tonight we are taking a step in the right direction and we
are committing to keeping you informed, supporting you, valuing you, consulting
with you, making you feel safe, treating you fairly, showing respect, and
protecting your privacy.”
She said the charter provided a set of founding rights which
underpinned and strengthened the department’s relationship with foster and
Watch the video Speaking of our rights on the Foster Carers NT YouTube channel.