Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1781 ..
Child and youth protection services—government response(Question No 213)
Mrs Kikkert asked the Minister for Families and Community Services, upon notice, on 23 April 2021:
Given that Part 1 of the Standing Committee on Health, Ageing and Community Services’ (Ninth Assembly) Final Report on Child and Youth Protection Services included six recommendations, and Part 2 of the report includes 44 recommendations, can the Minister provide an update on the ACT Government’s responses to the recommendations, including which have been actioned and which are in process of being actioned, including a brief summary of what has been done.
Ms Stephen-Smith: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
The Government is currently working to deliver agreed recommendations from a number of reviews, inquiries and reports. In addition to Part 1 and Part 2 of the Standing Committee on Health, Ageing and Community Services (Ninth Assembly) Final Report on Child and Youth Protection Services, these include the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Glanfield Inquiry and the Our Booris, Our Way review.
The Community Services Directorate (CSD) is taking a coordinated approach to respond to the recommendations of these reports.
Many of the recommendations will require amendment to the Children and Young People Act 2008. Given the complexity of the current Act, a key piece of work for CSD is planning a redraft of the Act to address these recommendations, with a focus on building a Child and Youth Protection Services system that is restorative, contemporary, underpinned by good decision making, and that puts into practice a holistic understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities.
To provide an update individually against each of the 50 recommendations identified in the question would be a significant task, requiring a considerable diversion of resources.
However, an example of how this work is progressing is the project to establish a mechanism for the external review of child protection decisions (see QON 214) and to improve internal review processes. This project will address multiple recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Health, Ageing and Community Services, as well as recommendations from other reports mentioned above.
Other related projects include the work towards establishing a Charter of Rights for Parents and Families and the establishment of a Child Safe Standards Scheme.
Updates on the status of responses to Legislative Assembly inquiries are summarised in the Directorate’s Annual Report each year and I will continue to provide regular updates to the Assembly and the community on the significant reform agenda.