Young people in care

Sometimes a young person will be placed into care.  This can happen for many reasons but it is the Department of Communities - Child Protection and Family Support that looks after you if it is decided you need protection and care.

This information will help you to understand your rights as a young person in care. Find out:

  • Who is responsible for you if you are in care
  • What rights you have while in care
  • Whether you can challenge the decision to place you into care.

Who is responsible for me if I am in care?

If you are in care, it is the job of the Department of Communities - Child Protection and Family Support (the Department) to make sure that you are looked after and safe, and that you are getting everything you need.

Your case manager is the person you will see and speak to the most. This is someone who works for the Department and who has special responsibility for you while you are in care.

Your case manager is part of a team with other people in a district office. They have a Team Leader who is their manager. The person who is in charge of the whole district office is called the District Director. You might want to know the names of the Team Leader and District Director, as they help to make decisions about you while you are in care, and you can talk to them if you want to. Ask your case manager for their names.

Children and young people come into care for different reasons. It is important that you understand why you came into care and how long you will be in care. If you have a lawyer, you can ask them what is happening. Otherwise, your case manager should be able to help explain what is going on.

What rights do I have while in care?

All your rights are important, but especially important is your right to privacy. You have the right to keep in touch with friends and family whenever possible and can ask to have private conversations without anyone listening to what you’re saying.

Your rights are put together in a list called the Charter of Rights. If you have been placed into care, you should have your own copy and it should be explained to you by your case worker. If you have any questions about the Charter of Rights, contact your case manager, talk to your carer, or contact the Advocate for Children in Care.

Can I challenge the decision to place me into care?

If your case is at court and you have a lawyer they can let the court know what you want. The court makes decisions based on what it thinks is best for you.

If the court has already made a decision, you can contact the Advocate for Children in Care to talk about your situation.

The Advocate can help you with problems or complaints that you can't sort out with your case manager, and can make sure you have a say in decisions that affect your life.

The Advocate can be contacted on 1800 460 696 (freecall), 0429 086 508 or (08) 9222 2518.

 

Reviewed: 9 May 2018

Disclaimer

The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.