Charter for children in out-of-home care

Children in out-of-home care should expect they will be kept safe and well by all the people who provide them with care.

A Charter lists the rights and privileges people have. We all have rights, and as members of the community, we need to respect each other's rights.

The Charter for children in out-of-home care has been especially prepared for children who can't live with their parents and are in out-of-home care. It lists what you can expect from all those people who look after you and work with you when you are in care. All these people need to make sure the things they do for you and the things they allow you to do keep you safe and well. Being safe and well are the most important rights so they have been put first. It means that if there is a clash between you being safe and well and another right your safety and wellbeing always comes first.

These are your rights

As a child or young person in care 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.

The every child every chance reforms provide professionals working within the sector more effective processes to listen to what children and young people want and need, enable earlier intervention, reduce child abuse and neglect, provide better support to Aboriginal children, young people and their families, and to work together in cooperation with other providers of children, young people and family services.

Making a complaint

If you are a child or young person living in out-of-home-care and you want to make a complaint, see Making a complaint - for children and young people in out-of-home care on the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing website.

  • Resources for children and young people

    Resources developed by the CREATE Foundation for children and young people in out-of-home care include:

    • An animated video for children focusing on key elements of the charter.
    • A video for young people to help them understand their rights and responsibilities and what to do if they feel their rights are not being upheld
    • A storybook for children that can be read along with the animation video to engage children in thinking and talking about their rights
    • An activity book for young people containing activities and ideas that link to the rights of the charter
    • A kit of age-specific charter resources for children and young people who are entering care and join clubCREATE. The kit includes information about clubCREATE and other age appropriate personal items needed when entering care.

    For further information about these resources, please contact the CREATE Foundation.

    Aboriginal children and young people new to out of home care

    The resources developed by the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) to promote the charter to Aboriginal children and young people new to out-of-home care include:

    • A photo montage of Indigenous AFL players supporting the rights of children in out of home care
    • A poster designed to appeal to girls of all ages this poster promotes the message that Jessica Mauboy, a young and very popular Indigenous performer, supports the rights of children and young people in care
    • Night time storybook for preschool to primary school age children and it is about two young possums living with their Uncle and Aunty and their adventures when they become lost
    • Rights booklet containing each of the rights with an accompanying photograph taken by young people for young people. The aim of the booklet is to encourage young people to know their rights and to seek help if they feel their rights are not being upheld
    • A board game based on the storybook with all the characters being portrayed in a simple and fun game (not suitable for children under the age of 3)
    • Four postcards containing images taken from the rights booklet with accompanying text and contact details of Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) who provide out of home care in Victoria
    • Custom designed overnight bag which contains age-specific cultural resources and personal items for children aged 5 years and under and young people aged 12 years and over.

    Note: Above resources will only be circulated to Aboriginal children and young people new to care by VACCA Lakidjeka ACSASS program.

    For information on other available resources for Aboriginal children and young people in out of home care, please contact VACCA