Page 2398 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008

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1) The Sharing Responsibility: A Framework for Service Collaboration for the Care, Protection and Well-being of Children and Young People in the ACT was signed on 17 March 2006 by Chief Executives of the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services; Chief Minister’s Department; ACT Health; ACT Treasury; Department of Education and Training and Department of Justice and Community Safety. This collaborative framework is a statement of commitment to quality care and protection services for children and young people. It outlines the responsibilities of the Departments and their approach to working together for the care and protection of children and young people in the ACT.

2) The Care and Protection Services database, CHYPS (Children and Young Persons System), records child protection reports, the allegation type (i.e sexual abuse, neglect etc) and the type of substantiated abuse. The national reporting of child protection reports, appraisals and substantiations follows rules set by the National Child Protection and Support Services Data Working. The data sets are published in the Report on Government Services. In addition, there is an annual audit by external auditors of the performance measures published in the Departmental annual report.

3) Each substantiated allegation of abuse must have a ‘person believed responsible’ (pbr) recorded on CHYPS. The relationship of the ‘pbr’ person to the child/young person is recorded in this field. This provides a clear method for assessing whether a given abuse type is happening predominantly in the family.

4) Data reporting on child protection matters is based on individual responses and these include information regarding relationships between children and adults. There is no definition of ‘family’ across the ACT for child protection. When the legislation and publications refer to family, this is a broad term, referring to the relationship between a child and a person within the household or a relative i.e aunt or step aunt, grandparent, mother’s defacto, half sibling etc. The Children and Young People Bill 2008 defines a family member as a significant other person in the life of the child or young person.

5) There is no Territory wide database where agencies can access the same records about service provision to families.

The term unsubstantiated is determined by policy within Care and Protection Services, guided by the Children and Young People Act 1999. The term requires a review of evidence, application of the legislative and policy requirements and the use of professional judgement in determining whether an appraised child protection report is substantiated or unsubstantiated. There is a review process of decisions by the Team Leader. All decisions and outcomes are recorded.

(Question No 2057)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Children and Young People, upon notice, on 6 May 2008:

(1) What protocols exist between the Department for Children and Young People, Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Services Assisting Male Survivors Sexual Assault, Child at Risk Health Unit, Forensic and Medical Sexual Assault Care and the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Team in order to ensure best practice;

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