26 September 2023

Canberrans called to weigh in on family rights

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The Community Services Directorate is calling for feedback on a new Charter of Rights for families involved with Child and Youth Protection Services.

Opening consultation on the Discussion Paper: Charter of Rights for Parents and Families involved with ACT child protection services, Minister for Families and Community Services, Rachel Stephen-Smith said the Directorate wanted to hear from a diverse range of stakeholders, including people with a lived experience of child protection services.

“It can be an incredibly difficult experience for parents and families to become engaged with the statutory child protection and out-of-home care system,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“The Charter will create a mutual reference point for parents and families, advocates, and child protection and out-of-home care agencies – helping everyone build a common understanding of what to expect in their engagements with one another,” she said.

“Enabling everyone to work together in a restorative and respectful way is ultimately in the best interests of children and young people.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said responses to the Discussion Paper would help the Directorate understand who the Charter should apply to, which rights and responsibilities should be included, how they should be framed, and different ways that the Charter could be embedded and used.

She said the new Charter would sit alongside the existing Charter of Rights for Kids in Care and would be complemented by a separate Charter of Rights for Carers.

“I hope the Charter will empower parents, families and their supporters as they navigate a system that we know can be complex and challenging,” the Minister said.

The Directorate’s 16-page Discussion Paper can be accessed at this PS News link.

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