Child Legal Advocacy
Child Advocate Legal Officers
OPG Child Advocate Legal Officers are lawyers who protect the rights of children and young people in the child protection system and ensure their voice is heard, particularly when decisions are made that affect them and their care arrangements. This includes those in out-of-home care, such as a foster home, the home of a kinship carer, a residential care facility, a youth detention or adult correctional centre, disability service or mental health facility.
How we can help you
We will listen to you as what you have to say is important. We will take you seriously, and we can:
- provide information and advice about legal issues that you might be concerned about
- help you resolve disputes and to make complaints if you have been treated unfairly or are unhappy with a decision made about your time in the child protection system
- support you - and if you want us to, speak for you - in legal meetings with Child Safety (or any other agency) to make sure that your needs are being met and your views and wishes are being heard
- support you to attend and speak for yourself in a court or tribunal
- speak for you in court or tribunals if you want us to.
What will we do for you?
- We will express your views and wishes to the court and/or Child Safety (or any other agency), even if others don't agree with what you have to say.
- We will respect your privacy and keep your information confidential.
- We MUST let Child Safety know if you tell us that you or any other child has been harmed or tell the police about any crimes that may have caused harm to you or another child.
When do we help you?
A community visitor from the OPG will visit you to check on you while you are in care and help with issues that you might have. Most of the time, your community visitor can help with your concerns but there are other times where a Child Advocate Legal Officer might need to help too.
If you need help with a legal issue - for example you need to apply to a tribunal to review your care arrangements or you want to have your say in court - a community visitor may organise a child advocate to help you.
You can also contact a Child Advocate Legal Officer directly if you need to.