Alasdair Roy is the Children & Young People Commissioner (CYPC), within the ACT Human Rights Commission. Alasdair believes that it is important for children and young people to have a say in decisions that affect them. “I think that the best way to find out what anyone really thinks about something is to ask them – not to talk to their lawyer, or to read about them in a report”, he said in a recent speech about children and young people in care.
“There is also the qualitative argument – by which I mean that if you include young people in decisions and actions that affect them, you will get better outcomes. And, better outcomes are, frequently, cost effective outcomes.”
“As one young person said to me about their case-worker: ’They don’t know you – they don’t see you as a real person; they just see you as a file sitting in a cabinet.’ Many assumptions and decisions about young people in care are based solely on information in a file, or many files – including information that the young person may not even know about.”
Alasdair will be presenting at the 2014 Out-of-Home Care Summit, to be held in June in Sydney. The CYPC will talk about shifting the focus from ‘family rights’ to child rights’ in Out-of-Home Care.
Alasdair has worked with children and young people for over 25 years, including in the areas of: human rights; consulting with children and young people; statutory advocacy; care and protection; adolescent mental health; street-based outreach and support; policy development; and children and young people who sexually offend.
He was a finalist in 2014 Australian of the Year Awards for his work promoting and protecting the rights of children and young people.
Overall, Alasdair remains committed to the rights of children and young people, and making Australia a friendlier and safer place for children and young people. He holds a Masters degree in counselling psychology, and is registered with the Psychology Board of Australia.