The Foster Care Association of Victoria (FCAV) has been successfully working with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to identify any children in care without a registered birth and to expedite the registration process with the registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The FCAV is pleased to report to its members that all the cases that were identified since it began this campaign late last year have either been registered or are with Births, Deaths and Marriages for registration.
The FCAV has long advocated for a solution to address this human rights issue for children in care, and the time-consuming and frustrating inconvenience it presents for their carers. This is because the failure to register a birth and obtain a birth certificate can prevent access to child care, Medicare, Centrelink benefits, bank accounts, passports, tax file numbers and driver’s licences. These services are all essential for supporting the social and economic development of children and young people in care.
The FCAV’s ongoing campaign has included a range of meetings with DHHS, the Commission for Children and Young People and the Children’s Court. Recently, the FCAV’s CEO, Sam Hauge, met with the DHHS and the Minister’s office to continue discussions about the problems some carers experience getting a birth registered for children in their care.
In response to the CEO’s advocacy DHHS is looking at their systems to determine how they might identify and respond to the need to register a birth as soon as possible after a child enters care. We are hopeful that systemic fixes to address this problem will come out of this process in the longer term. However, in a welcome development, as part of this process DHHS have undertaken to look at any further cases of unregistered births that the FCAV can identify.
We are so pleased to have a way to offer our members a short circuit to this lengthy and time consuming problem. Therefore, if you have a child in your care that doesn’t have a registered birth and want the registration actioned, please contact FCAV’s Project Officer Rowan Pulford at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details:
Name of carer:
Address of carer:
Phone number of carer:
Name of Child:
Date of birth of child (if known):
Please note that Rowan will contact you first to discuss your case and gain your permission before forwarding any details to DHHS for consideration.