Key information

  • The job of an advocate is to hear what matters to you, and make sure adults listen to you
  • It’s important for you to be listened to, and that adults are involving you in decisions about your life.
  • Remember, you have rights. Visit the Your rights page.

About advocacy

An advocate listens to what matters to you, and makes sure adults listen to you.

An advocate can also help you to understand how the Child Safety Service works in Tasmania.

Hearing your ideas on how the Child Safety Service can work better for children is important. This is called systemic advocacy and it is about improving the way services work to meet your needs.  

Meet your advocates

Left to right, Anna, Georgie and Sonya
Left to right, Anna, Georgie and Sonya

Sonya, Anna and Georgie are advocates for children and young people in care in Tasmania.  

Sonya loves board games, bushwalking, the beach and singing loudly in her car… and her job!

Anna loves her old golden retriever named Benji, playing UNO, taking photos of the sunset, and meeting awesome children and young people.

Georgie loves travelling and exploring new places, spending time with animals and helping young people reach their potential.

Their job is to:

  • make sure you are part of decisions about you
  • help you to understand your rights in care
  • listen to you if your rights are not being upheld
  • support you to speak up, or speak up for you
  • help you to understand how the Child Safety Service works
  • listen to your ideas about how Child Safety Service can work better for you
  • give advice to the bosses of Child Safety Service about how the service can best meet your needs.

Contact your advocates

Contact your advocates, Sonya, Georgie and Anna

Connect with us in a way that is most comfortable for you. This might mean talking more than once.

Steps for young people

  1. Choose how you want to contact us:
  2. We will contact you how you want to be contacted.
  3. We will listen to you and ask questions.
  4. When you talk with us, we want you to feel safe and in control of your story.
  5. We will talk with you about where your information goes, and plan next steps together.

Steps for professionals/Care Team members

  1. Think about the questions below to help you identify what might not be working.

Questions to think about

Children and young people’s views & influence – Child Participation Principles

  • Have safe, effective and age/stage appropriate steps been followed to gather the child/YP’s views?
  • Is the child/YP’s view consistent over time and with different people, or is it changeable?
  • What might the child/YP’s behaviour be communicating?
  • For a pre-schooler or child/YP with communication difficulties, are their parents/caregivers heard and included?

Collaboration, planning and decision-making – Best Interests & Respect Principles

  • Is communication around the child/YP inclusive, transparent, informative?
  • Is there an active and effective Care Team in place?
  • Does the child/YP have a current Care Plan?
  • Is decision making child-centred?
  • Has the Care Team given the child/YP’s views appropriate consideration and weight in decision making?
  • Do adults agree on what is in the child/YP’s best interests, and on what they need? Or are there different views?
  • Are all Care Team members aware of what they should expect from Child Safety Service practice?
  • Is Child Safety Service practice being applied effectively, in appropriate balance with the child/YP’s best interests?
  • Are adult and/or systemic influences impacting on the current situation? If so, what?

Collaboration, planning and decision-making – Best Interests & Respect Principles

  • Is communication around the child/YP inclusive, transparent, informative?
  • Is there an active and effective Care Team in place?
  • Does the child/YP have a current Care Plan?
  • Is decision making child-centred?
  • Has the Care Team given the child/YP’s views appropriate consideration and weight in decision making?
  • Do adults agree on what is in the child/YP’s best interests, and on what they need? Or are there different views?
  • Are all Care Team members aware of what they should expect from Child Safety Service practice?
  • Is Child Safety Service practice being applied effectively, in appropriate balance with the child/YP’s best interests?
  • Are adult and/or systemic influences impacting on the current situation? If so, what?

Children’s rights in out of home care

Please also consider the Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care.

  1. If after this you still feel you need help to advocate for the rights of a child or young person, please complete the online form
  2. We will contact you, listen to your concerns and discuss any next steps together.
  3. Our conversation can be confidential, depending on the child’s safety.

Complaints

Want to make a complaint about the Child Safety Service? Your complaint could be about a decision they’ve made, the service you’ve received or staff behaviour.