Family separation consultation

17 Sep, 2018

The Commissioner for Children and Young People is keen to hear from young people between the ages of 12 and 18 years whose parents have separated.

The Commissioner’s name is Colin Pettit and he is inviting young people to have their say about the support they got, how they were involved in decisions made about them, any services they went to, and their ideas about what could be done better.

Why talk to children and young people?

The Commissioner works to make sure children and young people have a say in decisions that impact them, as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
(UNCRC). The Commissioner often asks children and young people for their thoughts and ideas on issues that affect them and uses their views to help improve policies and services
for children and young people.

How can I have my say?

The Commissioner is giving young people a choice about how to have a say:

1. Share your story – you can share your story with the Commissioner in a way that best suits you – such as writing your story, making a video or audio recording, submitting an art work or a multimedia presentation.

2. Share your views or opinions – one of the Commissioner’s team is available to interview you either over the phone or in person and ask questions about how you were involved in decisions made about you, any services you had and your thoughts on your experience.

3. Share your ideas – you can complete a short online survey where you can give your ideas about how to improve services for children and young people without having to talk a lot about your own experience.

If you choose Option 1 or 2 to participate, you will receive a $30 Coles voucher as a thank you for your time and effort. If you choose Option 3, you will go into the draw to win one of two $30 Coles vouchers.

How will my views and ideas be used?

Your views and ideas may be used in a report by the Commissioner. The report will be sent to the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Family Court of WA. Both of these government organisations are reviewing how they can improve the way children and young people are listened to and how their voices are heard.

A report will also be published on the Commissioner’s website and a copy will be made available to all the young people who participate. The Commissioner may also use information from the report in case studies, presentations, other reports and publications (print or electronic media) to help others better understand the views of children and young people.

There are many examples of reports containing the views of children and young people on the Commissioner’s website, you can see these by searching ‘Speaking Out’.

If your views are included in a report, they never use your name or details that reveal your identity. If they use some of your comments they only include how old you are and where you are from. For
example, “My teacher helped us by sitting down and doing the work with us,” 14 years, Bunbury.

Will all the information I give be kept private?

Any personal information about you is kept confidential. However, if they become concerned about your safety or the safety of someone else because of something you say, they will have to talk to people who can help you and they will talk to you about this. The information they collect for the project will only be used for the things that you have agreed to, and they will ask if they can use any artwork, written or verbal comment in our report.

All contact details and consent information will be stored in locked files at the Commissioner’s office for five years.

What do I need to do now?

You do not have to take part in the project if you don’t want to. If you say yes and then change your mind later or during the interview that is okay, you just have to let them know.

If you do want to be involved they need you to send an email to or SMS to 0403 327 803 saying you would like to have a say and provide your contact details
for the Commissioner’s team to phone you.

The Commissioner’s team will answer any questions you have and provide more information when they phone you. They will also talk to you about:

  • Completing a consent form
  • If you are under 16 contacting a parent to sign a consent form so you can be involved.

Who can I contact for more information?

Talk to your parent about being involved in this project. If you have any questions you can contact Natalie Hall from the Commissioner’s office on 1800 500 884 or

Find out more about the work of the Commissioner at

PrintEmail a Friend