Participation in planning

girl being interviewed by a caseworker

As a child or young person in care, the law says you have the right to be kept informed, express your views and participate in decisions that affect your life.

This right to participate is contained in Section 10 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

The legislation states the importance of your views and opinions, and of others to listen to those views and take them into account when making decisions.

As a child or young person in foster care you have the right to participate in decisions about what's happening in your life. A Charter of Rights has been developed specifically for children and young people in out-of-home care.

We can help you participate in important aspects of being in foster care by providing:

  • information about decisions that need to be made
  • simple explanations in a language you can understand
  • the opportunity to express your views freely
  • any help needed to exercise your right to participate
  • information about how your views will be recorded and taken into account in decision-making
  • information about decisions that are made about you and an explanation of the reasons for those decisions
  • a chance to respond to decisions.

The ways in which you can participate in case planning will depend on your age, level of development, personality, cultural background and individual circumstances.

Some ways you could participate include:

  • attending conferences and case planning meetings
  • meeting your caseworker before a case planning meeting so the caseworker can explain the process, prepare you for the meeting and discuss how you can participate
  • writing down, or taping your comments and views before a meeting
  • bringing a support person to meetings
  • doing some artwork or a picture to help describe your feelings
  • contributing agenda topics for meetings
  • suggesting the venue for a meeting.

We realise that your views may change. Your support needs will also change over time, and should be reviewed during case plan reviews.

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To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 (24 hours/7 days)