Young people who have first-hand experience of the out of home care system took centre stage at the NSW Government’s forum on out of home care held in Sydney yesterday.
“Yesterday’s forum – hosted by SBS Insight’s Jenny Brockie and attended by more than 250 people – was about hearing from as many young people and carers as possible,” said Brad Hazzard, Minister for Family and Community Services and Social Housing.
“It was wonderful to see so many people – including children and young people in out of home care, care leavers, carers, experts, NGOs and Government agencies – come together to improve the lot of children and young people in care who have often been dealt a really rough hand in life.”
Care leaver, Claudia Simpson, who spoke at the forum, said she thought the day was extremely important.
“Everyone in attendance put in so much effort and thought – it can only mean good things for the 20,000 children in care. Now it is time for action,” Ms Simpson said.
Professor of Socio-Legal Research and Policy at the University of Sydney, Judy Cashmore, who also attended the forum, said she was heartened to see so many people come together to improve outcomes for children and young people in care.
“I was so pleased to see such a range of groups and interests come together with the Minister to hear first-hand the views of young people whose experience is so important in helping to improve the out of home care system,” Professor Cashmore said.
“I hope this forum is not only the start of an important conversation but also drives innovation to really improve outcomes – such as education and employment opportunities – for children and young people in out of home care, and importantly too, those leaving it.”
***Please note that it is an offence to identify children and young people under 18 who are in out of home care and permission is needed from those who are over 18 to be identified as having been in care***