Advocating for Children and Young People

OzChild Advocacy

OZCHILD – ADVOCATING FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

For over 160 years, OzChild has been committed to the protection of Australia’s most vulnerable, at-risk children. In service to this commitment, OzChild is also an advocate for sector reform and positive public attitudes to children in care, advocating for children’s rights across Australia.

We conduct high-quality, independent research into every aspect of child welfare in Australia and around the world. Combined with a strategic media and communications plan, this research allows us to:

  1. Engage with government, media, and the community in order to;
  2. Influence policy development, legislation, increase funding for new models of care and influence public opinion, all towards the goal of;
  3. Improving outcomes for children in care.

Through these forms of engagement, OzChild also works towards improving our sector, changing the public perception of out of home care to encourage carer accreditation and stable placements for children and young people. OzChild is guided by the United Nations Charter on the Rights of the Child, and aims to extend the rights listed in the charter to all children under the organisation’s care, placing each child or young person into a safe, secure and loving home.

Our Advocacy Scope
OzChild is committed to the ongoing protection of Australia’s most vulnerable and at-risk children. We are committed to influencing change within the child welfare sector, promoting positive reform and boosting public attitudes to children in care.

We advocate on behalf of at-risk children who require out-of-home care and additional supports to reach their highest potential. The areas we cover in our advocacy include protection of children and young people, supporting children with disabilities, managing trauma / injury or neglect-related difficulties, interventions to produce better outcomes, improving out-of-home care (innovations in the sector), family poverty, education, violence and culturally-specific needs (particularly for Indigenous Australians).

Support Foster Care
Recent research reveals children exposed to childhood trauma are more likely to fall behind their peers and experience poorer outcomes. Childhood trauma is linked to a failure to thrive in areas such as poorer educational outcomes, more likely to become involved in criminal activity, experience chronic mental illness, engage in drug and alcohol abuse and /or experience homelessness. It is critical to provide a robust foster care system to address these issues. Sector reform plays a vital role in ensuring our most vulnerable children are provided support and programs to reach adulthood, fully developed, equipped and prepared for adult life. As a foster care provider, OzChild is committed to being a leader for change in the sector by:

  • Conducting research into understanding why these issues exist;
  • Providing therapeutic care across all our services;
  • Developing new evidence-based programs that cater better to children with complex needs; and
  • Providing excellent training and support to attract and retain more foster carers.

OzChild is also involved in groups such as the Ministers Advisory Committee and the Minister’s Roundtable into Sexual Exploitation. These groups, run by the Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, work with leaders of the community sector, such as OzChild’s Chief Executive Officer Lisa J. Griffiths, to improve care of vulnerable kids.

OzChild in the Media
To find out more about OzChild in the media and news, please click here.

Research, Journals and Publications
OzChild’s research department is run by Dr. Gaye Mitchell and conducts both independent and organisation and universitypartnered research into child welfare, and publishes a quarterly journal, Children Australia. To find out more about our research or download our most recent reports and journals, please click here.