7.1 Chapter 6 recommended the establishment of processes and agencies to co-ordinate policy development and service delivery for children. However, adequate protection of children’s interests also requires effective advocacy.[1] Submissions to this Inquiry have called repeatedly for more advocacy of the rights of children and young people in the legal process. This chapter considers a range of advocacy models and suggests a rationalisation of existing advocacy arrangements at the federal, State and Territory levels.

7.2 The Inquiry recommends an approach that can work effectively in a federal system. As both the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre[2] and the NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues[3] have recognised, an integrated system spanning federal and State and Territory levels of government is required. It should provide both individual advocacy and broad systemic advocacy and different levels and types of intervention. Advocacy mechanisms should work with existing structures. In particular, OFC would develop close links with these advocacy bodies.

[1] See paras 5.24-31.

[2] R Ludbrook Why Australia Needs a Commissioner for Children — Discussion Paper National Children’s and Youth Law Centre Sydney 1994.

[3] NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues Report 10 Inquiry into Children’s Advocacy NSW Government Sydney 1996.