b'Westjustice director Anoushka Jeronimus said thatAnoushka is a lawyer and youth crime expert who came part of the pilot programs mission was to move awayto Westjustice from Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) and the from referring to children in care as marginalised orchildrens court. Work by bodies such as the Commission vulnerable. Words like that can start to define them,for Children and Young People, and the Sentencing she said. The fact is they are young people. They mightAdvisory Council, had identified the high crossover have experienced being vulnerable or being marginalisedbetween the child protection system and the youth justice but that should not define them. They are in dangersystem and Anoushka is driven to try and break that cycle. of being labelled because of circumstances that areThere are a lot of dots in this system and a lot of the dots completely out of their control. are intended to improve the lives of children in care or when they leave care, but those dots dont always join up, Anoushka explained that Westjustice was keen to helpAnoushka said. reframe how children in care were regarded. We want to show them that they are rights holders, she said. TheyNewsboys has been a great supporter of this work and are young people who deserve every bit of dignity andwe are very grateful, she added. Children in care do have respect afforded to them. We want them to understandlegal rights, and we are advising them on discovering what their rights and potential responses to what theyve beenrights they have and then helping the kids as they enforce through, potentially even making a claim under VOCATthose rights and make sure those rights are activated. (Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal). Its key to provide them with the information they need to empower those kids and help advocate on their behalf Sir Vinnies story has been well chronicled, as a child whoor assist as they self-advocate. Part of that is lifting their emerged from extremely fraught, violent beginnings toknowledge base, and that of their carers, to have a better train up as a lawyer and then step back into that world,understanding of what legal rights they have.but now as an adult champion and legal adviser to todays endangered youth. From my perspective, there are legalNick Placeneeds for these children, and often multiple legal issues, he said. I often think back and reflect on the fact that if things had turned out differently, I could have personally ended up in residential care and with those same needs.Sir Vinnies campaign to let children know their rights has seen him work as an in-school lawyer and now sees him as the face of Westjustices Out of Home Care and In Custody Legal Clinics. He and Anoushka are hoping to continue attracting funding to consolidate the service for in-care youth, as something to be regularly accessed as well as expanded so that it becomes part of a wider collaboration with other support services. Even now, another community legal centre, Youthlaw, is running a very similar program in regional Victoria and, far from feeling competitive, Westjustice is thrilled to share findings, documents and other resources that may help both organisations do even better work for their cohorts.NEWSBOYS FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT 202211'