Raising a complaint – resources for children and young people
In December 2018, new resources were made available to increase complaints awareness among children and young people in out of home care. Resources include an online animation and child friendly complaints form, available on the department’s updated ‘Making a complaint’ webpage at: https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/making-complaint-children-and-young-people-out-home-care
A fridge magnet with the department's Compliments and Complaints contact number is being distributed to children and young people in out of home care. Carers and staff are encouraged to put the magnets somewhere that children and young people can easily see. There are factsheets for children and young people and carers to help promote the new resources.
The resources have been developed with children and young people as part of the department's commitment to supporting children and young people to understand their rights, feel safe and know how to raise matters of concern to them.
Community service organisations delivering out of home care can access additional fridge magnets and factsheets via divisional Local Connections teams.
Guide to emergency use of physical restraint in out of home care
From 6 April 2018, there is a new policy to assist carers and staff understand the emergency circumstances for the use of reasonable physical force in out of home care. The guide to the emergency use of physical restraint in out of home care, helps carers and staff understand their existing obligations regarding the reasonable use of physical force in out of home care, as well as prohibited restraints and reporting obligations.The policy applies to residential care, foster and kinship care and lead tenant services. An easy read factsheet on the new policy is available for carers.
The policy is supported by Practice guide: behaviour planning to best support children and young people in out-of-home care, which provides information on behaviour support planning and resources to help carers and staff respond to challenging behaviour.
Training is available for carers and staff on understanding and responding to the behaviour of children in out-of-home care through Carer KaFE and the Residential Care Learning and Development Strategy.
A copy of the policy, practice guide and other resources are available at: http://providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/program-requirements-out-home-care-services
Community service organisations delivering out of home care are requested to promote and distribute these resources to carers, workers and children and young people who access their services.