Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998
All states and territories in Australia have their own laws for protecting children and young people. In NSW, the child protection legislation is the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.
The Act requires that the best interests of the child or young person are considered in all decisions and actions. This includes the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people who are removed from their families. The Act gives specific powers to Family and Community Services (FACS) to investigate child protection reports, and the courts to make orders. It also sets out the responsibilities of each government agency, non-government agency and person involved in protecting and caring for children at risk of significant harm.
Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Regulation 2012
The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Regulation 2012 (pdf) provides more detailed guidance about what is required to meet responsibilities around children and young people in care. This is where the Code of Conduct for Authorised Foster, Relative and Kinship Carers [internal link Code of Conduct] comes from.
The Charter of Rights
The Charter of Rights outlines the general rights and responsibilities of every child and young person in out-of-home care. These rights reflect those of any child or young person. The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 requires that these rights are supported by carers and caseworkers.
- You have the right to have contact with your family and community.
- You have the right to be told why you are in care and to keep a record of your time in care.
- You have the right to ask for any information that is being kept about you, to read your file and to add information to your file.
- You have the right to be treated fairly.
- You have the right to be treated with respect.
- You have the right to feel safe and not be abused.
- You have the right to complain.
- You have the right to services that promote your health and wellbeing.
- You have the right to ask for extra help with your education.
- If you have to go to court, you have the right to be helped and supported.
- You have the right to do things you enjoy.
- You have the right to your own beliefs and way of life.
- You have the right to make choices about everyday matters.
- You have the right to say what you are thinking and feeling.
- You have the right to take part in making important decisions affecting your life.
- Before leaving care, you have the right to be involved in planning the kind of support and assistance you may need after leaving care.
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