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Out of Home Care Report- Advocate for Children and Young People

Out of Home Care Report- Advocate for Children and Young People

A new report released by the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People, Zoë Robinson, calls for greater safety, accountability, support and transparency in the Out-of-Home Care (OOHC) system.

The Voices of Children and Young People in Out-of- Home Care report outlines, in their own words, the experiences of strong and resilient, children and young people and defines practical recommendations to help us as a community better support the needs of and improve outcomes for children and young people in OOHC.

There are currently more than 15,000 children and young people in care in NSW. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are almost 10 times more likely to be in OOHC than non-Indigenous children and young people.

Ms Robinson said, “While this report makes a series of critical recommendations in relation to improving how we support children and young people throughout their journey in the care system, the overwhelming call from young people in the report was incredibly simple – they want to be heard.”

As one young person who participated in the Advocate’s research said, “You need to listen. You honestly need to listen to what a young person’s got to say.”

The Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People (ACYP) heard from young people aged from six to 24 years who have experience in the OOHC system in NSW.

Ms Robinson said she was confronted by the findings in this report.

“What is clear is that we are not consistently listening or providing a place for children and young people in care to be heard about all the decisions that affect their lives.”

“I was saddened to read about the experiences of these strong and resilient, but vulnerable, children and young people. As a collective, we must do better, and it starts with listening,” Ms Robinson added.

The report reveals one young person had lived in 44 different placements, while another young person reported having 20 placements during their time in care, none of which lasted more than six months.

One of the key findings is that children and young people living in OOHC often feel completely excluded from critical decisions affecting their lives.

They are often left out of court proceedings and case meetings only to be informed of key outcomes after the fact.

A participant in this study said, “Young people should be included in their case meetings and rights to their decisions and learn about what’s going on in their life…I don’t think I remember ever going to a case meeting until it was the one three weeks before turning 18 about leaving care.”

Since 2015 there have been numerous reports and inquiries into the OOHC system in NSW.

Ms Robinson calls for government to continue to not but to act on what they are saying.

“When designing programs, roads only listen to children and young people and healthcare systems we always include the voice and perspective of consumers, the same should happen in this space.

“Children and young people who have had experience of the outinvolved in designing and develo ofhome care system should be meaningfully ping policies, programs , solutions the and supports, to ensure experience of other children and young people is improved,” Ms Robinson said.

The Voices of Children and Young People in Out of Home Care Report outlines 19 for government to implement to help improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable children and young people in NSW.

This includes actions aimed at better supporting families, enhancing children and young people’s voice whilst they are in OOHC, and upon exit.

Click here to visit website which includes a video with findings from the report

Experiences of Flooding for People with Disability and Carers in the Northern Rivers

Experiences of Flooding for People with Disability and Carers in the Northern Rivers

The University of Sydney’s Centre for Rural Health recently published their findings from work carried out after the 2017 floods on the experiences and impacts of flooding for people with disability and carers.

The research team is presenting the findings at an online seminar on 18 August and everyone is welcome to join them online.

‘Exposure to Risk and Experiences of River Flooding for People with Disability and Carers in the Northern Rivers of NSW’ presented by Dr Jodie Bailie, This seminar will be streamed via Zoom Date: Thursday 18 August 2022 Time: 4:00pm – 5:00pm AEST


The severity and frequency of weather-related disasters are likely to increase because of a warming climate. Catastrophic flooding occurred in the Northern Rivers, NSW in 2017 and again in 2022, exacerbating existing social inequalities. For people with disability and carers the impact can be especially profound.

In this session we explore the exposure to risk, experiences and mental health impacts for people with disability and carers six-months after river flooding in 2017. After the presentation there will be time for discussion


National Carers Survey open until 31 July

National Carers Survey open until 31 July

Every two years Carers NSW conducts a comprehensive survey to better understand what carers want and need. Have your say in the 2022 National Carer Survey!

The 2022 National Carer Survey is now open! You can now complete the Survey online until 31 July 2022 at http://bit.ly/2022NationalCarerSurvey

And you can read more about the survey in the following link:


Mental Health Commission launches Connections 2022

Mental Health Commission launches Connections 2022

The Australian Government’s Mental Health Commission is launching Connections 2022: the Making Connections for Your Mental Health and Wellbeing program with visits to 34 cities and towns across the nation.

Lismore event

If you live in or near Lismore, you’re invited to a community conversation, hosted by the Australian Government’s Mental Health Commission.

The event will be held at: Lismore Workers Sports Club, 202 Oliver Avenue, Goonellabah. Monday 11 July 2022, 6 – 7.30pm.

Full details can be found in the link.


Cost of living survey

Cost of living survey

If you have opened a newspaper in the last few weeks, you’ve probably been inundated with stories about the increased cost of living. Around the country we’re seeing increases in everything from petrol to gas and electricity.

We know that people on income support will be hit hardest by these price increases, but those stories aren’t getting nearly enough media coverage.

That’s why we’ve created a cost of living survey to capture data on the experiences of people on income support that we can pass along to journalists. If you’re currently struggling to get by on income support, can you take five minutes to fill in this survey and ensure that your experiences are being covered by the media?

We know that many members of our community struggling to get by on income support were already forced to make impossible decisions between keeping their power on or buying groceries. And these price increases will only make life harder.

These stories need to be heard and should be at the centre of the conversation about measures to ease the cost of living crisis.

In the past, our community has been able to secure national media coverage off the back of our surveys. Can you help to do it again? Click here to complete the anonymous survey.

Adaptive Ageing and Creative Arts Webinar

Adaptive Ageing and Creative Arts Webinar

Join leading experts in creative and experimental arts as they discuss how these disciplines contribute to adaptive ageing research.

This event to be held 1pm to 2pm, July 7 is co-hosted by the Creativity and Wellbeing Hallmark Initiative (University of Melbourne) and the UNSW Ageing Futures Institute.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/adaptive-ageing-and-the-creative-arts-registration

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Held by Bowel Cancer Australia, this annual initiative aims to raise awareness of Australia’s second deadliest cancer, which claims more than 100 Australian lives every week.

The risk of bowel cancer can be reduced by being smoke free, staying active, enjoying a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, limiting the intake of red and processed meats, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

More information can be found on the Cancer Institute NSW website. https://www.cancer.nsw.gov.au/dothetest/

SCU is holding an online Engaging in Democracy seminar

SCU is holding an online Engaging in Democracy seminar

Southern Cross University is holding an online Engaging in Democracy seminar with the theme, the ‘Year of Healing’. It will be held on Thursday, June, 4pm to 5.30 pm  and is free.

Community welfare and social work rest on a solid tradition of advocacy for human rights and social justice. This seminar series explores how human service workers engage in democracy.

Seminar 2 occurs in Refugee Week, with the theme for 2022 being the ‘Year of Healing’. The theme ‘Healing’ focuses on the importance of human connection and our intrinsic connectedness – how we come together to support and learn from each other to heal and rejuvenate, emerging as a more fulfilled and connected society. Stronger. Safer. Healthier. Happier. Together.

The speakers are Stanley Yeo (Vice President, Ballina Region for Refugees), Rachel Welstead (SCU Alumni) and Mujib Abid (Academic), as they explore the theme of ‘Healing’ and its relationship to advocacy and democracy.

To register visit: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/year-of-healing-tickets-352265905807

Navigating Aged Care webinar on June 16

Navigating Aged Care webinar on June 16

The Council on the Ageing (COTA) NSW is holding a series of information webinars this year.

In June the theme is Navigating Aged Care

For many older people, aged care represents the best housing option as their care needs increase. However, understanding the aged care process can be difficult, and information can often be opaque. Join COTA NSW for an in-depth look at the process of entering aged care, and what you need to ensure a smooth transition into care. Our panel of experts will answer any questions you might have about the aged care system, whether for yourself or for a loved one.

Speakers for June include:

Paul Sadler, currently CEO of peak body Aged and Community Care Services Australia.

Judy Christian, psychologist and aged care advocate.

Terry Stathakis, COTA NSW’s own aged care navigator-in-chief.

This webinar will be longer than usual and in two parts. The first part will look at the future of aged care, and in the second part Terry be available to answer specific questions about accessing aged care.

Date: Thursday 16 June

Time: 10.30 am – 12.30pm.

Register now

Proposals open for NSW Strong Communities Program

Proposals open for NSW Strong Communities Program

Proposals are now open for providers interested in delivering the Northern NSW Strong Community Program.

Healthy North Coast, Bullinah Aboriginal Health Service, Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation and Rekindling the Spirit are seeking proposals from qualified and experienced organisations.

Services: clinical and or psychosocial trauma-informed services that align with models of Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing

Trauma-based programs: evidence-based programs with a specific focus on trauma-informed principles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Social and emotional wellbeing programs: programs that are aligned to the principles of Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing, that are guided by the communities’ preferences and focus on improving connection to body; mind and emotions; family and kin; community; culture; Country; and spirituality

Education/early intervention: programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that provide early intervention and psychoeducation, such as tools and resources to assist with managing stressors and other life events, or tips to support others managing increased stress or worry.

Connection to health and social supports: programs that promote linkages with culturally appropriate health and support services, including mental health, and alcohol and other drugs, to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with health and social and emotional wellbeing needs.

Visit Tenderlink to find out more.