Knowing your rights

Published: 23 December 2020

Listen to Chief as he talks about his experience growing up in care and learn about the decisions he made to take control of his life.

Introducing Chief's story

Chief’s story highlights the importance of rangatahi / young people knowing what their rights are, as well as the need for good support when things get tough for families. When Chief was very young, his mum got sick and had to be hospitalised for long periods. Without enough support in place for her, or people looking out for Chief, he was left to care for himself from a young age.

How to help someone going through a similar experience

If someone you know is going through what Chief experienced you can help.

Find out how to help them through depression and how to create a safe space for them.

Reflecting on Chief's story

During his interactions with Child, Youth and Family (now Oranga Tamariki), he didn't feel listened to or understood. Social workers and lawyers used “tricky words” that confused him and blocked his access to be part of the decision making about his own life and circumstances. Having an advocate on his side to explain things clearly and to assert his rights may have led to different outcomes for him.

Chief says becoming a father helped him find purpose and made him grateful for the support he received from his girlfriend and her whānau. He was given the educational support he needed at Lyriks Sports Academy, and later got the chance to train as a painter. Chief is making the most of this opportunity to provide for his young whānau.

What have you learned from listening to Chief's story?