What does a Community Visitor for children do?
What is a community visitor?
OPG community visitors (CVs) are there to help you if you are a child or young person in 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. Community Visitors are independent, which means they are not from any government department or community organisation. They make sure that the concerns, views and wishes of children and young people are listened to and seriously considered.
What can a CV do to help me?
- We will listen to your views and wishes, and help you speak to your child safety officer about what they are, or we can speak to your child safety officer on your behalf.
- We can help you with contact with your family, siblings or child safety officer.
- We can assist you to have a say in what is involved in your case plans, particularly in relation to your education, healthcare and counselling plans.
- We can refer you to an OPG child advocate for legal issues and concerns you have.
Find out more about how OPG CVs can help you in our community visitor fact sheet
How can a CV help me?
We can help you by:
- regularly visiting you to speak with you
- talking to you about how things are going, so that we can understand whether your rights are being upheld and your needs are being met
- respecting your privacy and the choice to speak with us away from others.
- maintain your privacy, unless you're at risk of harm
- listen to you about how frequently you want us to visit
- respond within 48 hours to any request you make for us to visit
- visit at a time that has been arranged with you that doesn't interrupt activities that are important to you, and listen to you if you say you don't want to be visited.
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.
What can I ask about?
A CV can answer questions and find out things for you. They can help with:
- getting information about people or services that can help you
- allowances and other money issues
- where you might live
- concerns about the place where you are living
- family contact issues
- sorting out issues with your child safety officer or people from other government departments.
How can I contact a CV?
- Phone the Office of the Public Guardian on 1800 661 533 (freecall within QLD - calls from mobile phones may attract charges).
- Use OPG quick message to request a call from your CV online.
- You can ask a youth worker or care provider to help you phone or e-mail the OPG.
- You can ask a youth worker or care provider to contact a OPG community visitor for you by phone or e-mail.
Protecting your privacy
CVs respect your privacy and take steps to ensure that the personal information you provide them is collected, stored, used and disclosed in ways that protect your privacy.
CVs are authorised to collect your personal information under the Public Guardian Act 2014.
A CV may use the information you provide them to advocate on your behalf, including passing information on to people who may be able to take action in relation to any concerns you raise.
If you disclose information about abuse or a threat to yourself or another child, a CV is legally required to pass that information on to relevant authorities, such as the police and child safety officers to ensure your safety and wellbeing.