Providing greater opportunities and pathways for young people in care to access housing, study and work, is the focus of an $800,000 State Government investment in the CREATE Foundation.
CREATE Foundation is the national advocacy body for children and young people in care. The funding boost was announced at the organisation’s national Voices in Action Conference on Friday (29 April).
CREATE’s national Voices in Action Conference brought together young people, carers, child protection workers and stakeholders from across the country to discuss key issues affecting the care sector.
Minister for Child Protection Katrine Hildyard addressed the conference, saying it was important to give young people a platform to have their voices heard about what is important.
The Department for Child Protection’s residential care choir Strong in Culture, Strong in Voice kicked off day one of the conference with their original song We stand together, followed soon after by a presentation and Q and A session with youth advisory group No Capes for Change.
The State Government has also committed to work with the Guardian for Children and Young People and CREATE to develop a structured mechanism for the Minister to hear directly children and young people in care.
"It’s so important that the voices of children and young people are front and centre in absolutely everything we do – we must respect the experiences of young people and value their input about how we can make things better," Minister Hildyard said.
"In order to make a positive change, we need to amplify the voices of young people, through increased participation, advocacy and support.
"This partnership with, and investment in, the CREATE Foundation, as the national body representing the voices of young people in care, is just one of the ways we plan to put this into action.
"No matter the starting point in life, every young person deserves to have the opportunity to thrive and live a fulfilling life."
CREATE Foundation Chief Executive Jacqui Reed welcomed the State Government's commitment to hearing the voices and improving the lives of children and young people growing up in out-of-home care.