The Government has accepted and commenced action on a further set of recommendations from the Child Protection Royal Commission, less than a week on from the report’s release. 

Recommendations 4, 20, 35, 48, 76, 81, 90, 92, 126, 136, 165, 166, 187, 200, 213, 244 have been accepted and are now being actioned by the Government.

The recommended changes include:

  • Recommendation 4: Reinstitute the court liaison role as a strategic link between the Agency, the Family Court and the Youth Court, to improve system interface and to develop service responses in accordance with the requirements of each jurisdiction.
  • (48) Abandon the policy restricting the recording of Report on Unborn (ROU) children to 34 weeks’ gestation or later.
  • (166) Fund the development of a smartphone application that provides young people with up to date information about services and entitlements when leaving care.
  • (187) Develop an Aboriginal recruitment and retention strategy in the Agency as part of a broader workforce strategy.

This follows on from previous actions taken by the Government in response to the Report, which include:

  • Allocating an initial $200 million has been committed to commence implementing the wide-ranging reforms.
  • Commencing disciplinary action relating to employees named in the Commissioner’s report has also commenced.
  • Rolling out 60 wellbeing practitioners in South Australian schools.
  • Committing $1.1 million to the Families by Families program to assist disadvantaged South Australians.

The Government has also accepted the Commissioner’s recommendations around responding to the report.

Background

The Child Protection Systems Royal Commission was released by the Government last Monday, and makes 260 recommendations.

A formal, detailed response to the Royal Commission will be presented before the end of this year, in line with the report’s recommendations.

The Royal Commission’s report is available on the website of the Attorney-General’s Department: www.agd.sa.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close

There is no quick fix when it comes to fixing our child protection system, however the Commissioner has provided us with some actions that we can take immediate action on.

We have already taken some considerable steps in responding to the report, and we will be working through further recommendations with the community sector as we go ahead.

The Commissioner has given us the opportunity to take make a fresh start in our child protection system and are getting on with the job of delivering that fresh start.

Recommendations being progressed:

Reinstitute the court liaison role as a strategic link between the Agency, the Family Court and the Youth Court, to improve system interface and to develop service responses in accordance with the requirements of each jurisdiction. 
20 Conduct a review of the long-term viability of C3MS and monitor research and developments in the area of electronic information management systems with the view to determining whether C3MS should be replaced with a more suitable and effective electronic information system.
35  Implement the automated call-back feature at the Call Centre for a trial period, followed by an assessment to determine whether its ongoing use is justified. 
48  Abandon the policy restricting the recording of Report on Unborn (ROU) children to 34 weeks’ gestation or later. 
76  Reinstate the inter-departmental committee overseeing Rapid Response to review its operation, at least bi-annually. 
81  Require that all annual reviews be chaired by a suitably qualified person who is independent of the case. 
90  Review and promote Education’s policies regarding school suspension, exclusion and expulsion to ensure that they are used as strategies of last resort for children in care.
92  Require education to fund any in-school support needed by children in care. 
126  Engage and support CAFWA to improve the coordination of respite provision to carers. 
136  Request GCYP to develop an education program for children in facilities run by the Agency or non-government organisations (emergency and residential) to explain and promote their rights pursuant to regulation 14(3) of the Family and Community Services regulations 2009 and Section 56 of the Family and Community Services Act 1972. 
165  Reach an administrative arrangement with the CREATE foundation to provide it with names and contact details of children entering care and/or their carers (as appropriate). 
166  Fund the development of a smartphone application that provides young people with up to date information about services and entitlements when leaving care. 
187  Develop an Aboriginal recruitment and retention strategy in the Agency as part of a broader workforce strategy. 
200  Offer stable employment arrangements with competitive, ongoing retention allowances to attract and recruit six permanent Lands-based workers to support the Agency’s fly-in-fly-out teams. 
213  Conduct an audit of services in remote Aboriginal communities to ensure access to adequate facilities to serve as a service hub for playgroups, preschools and other services that visit the community. 
244  Review procedures and employment arrangements so that Chief executives of government agencies with responsibilities for the health, safety and wellbeing of children have a provision included in their performance agreements that obliges them to ensure inter-agency collaboration in child protection matters and measure that performance.