Skip to Content

Your rights in out-of-home care

  • 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 any 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 that you enjoy.
  • You have a 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.


Always remember these are your rights. They are meant to protect you and everyone involved in your care has to make sure they are respected. The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 requires that these rights are supported by carers and caseworkers.

For an easy to understand explanation of your rights, have a look at our resources for 7 to 12 years old and 13 to 17 years old which include booklets, videos and posters to download.

Charter of Rights for 7 to 12 year olds

A collection of resources - including a booklet, animated videos and posters - that will help you understand your rights and express your feelings and beliefs.

Booklet

Your rights explained in a easy to understand language - download the Charter of Rights -  Blue booklet for 7 to 12 years old.

Videos

For quick and simple explanations of key rights check out our videos.

It's your right to do things that make you happy

It's your right to know your family

It's your right to ask why you are in care

It's your right to feel safe, secure and cared for

It's your right to ask for help

Charter of Rights for 13 to 17 year olds

A collection of resources - including a booklet, animated videos and posters - that will help you understand your rights and express your feelings and beliefs.

Booklet

Your rights explained in a easy to understand language - download the Charter of Rights -  Green booklet for 13 to 17 years old.

Videos

For quick and simple explanations of key rights check out these videos.

It's your right to know why you're in care

It's your right to know your family

It's your right to feel safe and be treated with respect

It's your right to ask for help

It's your right to be involved in planning your future

Spending time with your family

If you're in out-of-home care, you still have the right to stay in contact with your family, including your siblings.

Talk to your caseworker about:

  • how you can stay in touch with your family - by phone, online or catch ups
  • how often you can see your family
  • what you would like to do with family members.

Your caseworker has the responsibility for ensuring you can spend time with family and will organise a meeting to talk about how this can happen with all the people involved such as your foster carer/s, parents/other family members and others where relevant.

Case planning meetings

A case plan records all the decisions that are necessary in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for your development and future. Case plans also list the people who will support you in reaching your goals, and how they will support you.

During meetings to develop your case plan some important decisions about your life will be made including where you're going to live and for how long, how you'll be spending time with your family and plans for your education amongst other things.

The law says you have the right to be kept informed, express your views and participate in decisions about what's happening in your life. It's really important that you consider speaking up in these meetings to ensure your views are heard.

How can you participate

Here are some ways in which you can participate in case planning:

  • attending the meetings to develop your case plan
  • meeting with your caseworker before the case plan meeting so he/she can explain the process and prepare you for the meeting
  • writing down or recording your comments and views before a meeting
  • bringing a support person with you
  • doing some artwork or a picture to describe your feelings
  • suggesting topics for meetings or suggesting a venue.

The caseworker will ensure you have the opportunity to have input by providing:

  • information about decisions that need to be made
  • an explanation of the decisions made but also the reasons for each decision.

Read more about how you can prepare for case planning meetings and have a chance to speak up on the YOU website.

Support while you are in care

From the time you enter care, your caseworker will be in regular contact. However, you don't have to wait for your caseworker to contact you. You can contact him or her at any time to discuss any concerns, questions or issues you may have.

Your caseworker will:

  • work with you to set goals and plan for your future, and create an action plan that can help you make your goals a reality
  • have contact with lots of people in your community, for example, your school, family and your carers
  • listen to you, help you with concerns or challenges you may have, and support you in the things that are happening in your life
  • work with your carer to support you.

Any additional support you may need will be outlined in your case plan. For example, seeing a psychologists or other medical and health service such as a dentist.

Your caseworker often has to make decisions about your life, but they should always speak to you first to get your input before a decision is made.

Was this content useful?
Last updated: 19 Jan 2018
544963