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News and Events

Latest news

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.

Viewpoint provides 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 questionnaire.

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 years.

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.pdfViewpoint Information for Carers.pdf

Viewpoint Brochure.pdfViewpoint Brochure.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 with them.

“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 kinship carers. 

Watch the video Speaking of our rights on the Foster Carers NT YouTube channel​.