Commissioner welcomes reform of out-of-home care
Commissioner for Children and Young People Colin Pettit has welcomed the release of a plan to reform out-of-home care arrangements in Western Australia.
Mr Pettit said that all children and young people, including those in out-of-home care, have the right to feel safe and grow up in a nurturing environment.
“It should always be remembered that children are in out-of-home care due to no fault of their own and they need every support to address the challenges that they face,” Mr Pettit said.
The Building a Better Future plan released by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support highlights some critical areas of focus, including the need to address the extraordinarily high rate of Aboriginal children in care, the need to better support family carers and the need to provide greater assistance to young people as they transition out of care.
“I am particularly pleased to see an increased focus on listening to children and young people and better responding to their needs and concerns at an individual level,” Mr Pettit said.
“Children in care often do not have the natural advocate of a parent or family member to ensure that their needs are met and they are kept safe, so it is crucial that the system is working well and we give every child in care the opportunity to thrive.
“Aboriginal children and young people have made it clear to my office that their connection to culture is critical to their wellbeing and efforts to work with the Aboriginal community to prevent children coming into the care system is vital,” Mr Pettit said.
“Families caring for additional children need to be supported and it is also essential that we increase support for young people as they transition out of care so that their support structures do not stop when they turn 18.
“I acknowledge the work undertaken by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support in reaching this stage and I will be monitoring the implementation of the plan and the outcomes for children in care.”