Page 4433 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013
MS BURCH: I thank Ms Lawder for her question. I think there is an unfortunate tone of inference in there. Let us be clear about the child death review—it is about reviewing deaths over a period of five years, and the report provides information on 105 deaths. It is important to understand what “known to care and protection” is—that is, the child or young person and/or sibling was subject to an inquiry, a child concern report or a child protection report. It does not necessarily mean that the child or young person and/or sibling was subject to any investigation or intervention or that abuse or neglect has been substantiated.
Given that we have over 14,000 child concern reports into our system each and every year, that point of clarification needs to be well and truly overlaid on the interpretation you have made.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.
MS LAWDER: Minister, what responses or changes to improve the directorate have you made since that Public Advocate report in 2011?
MS BURCH: They were significant reports. Indeed, we had a milestone review panel which included the Public Advocate. All those reports are available on line. So I encourage you to do some Christmas reading of them.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what further changes need to be made to legislation to enable care and protection to reduce these phenomenal statistics?
MS BURCH: I am not quite sure of the statistics you are talking about, given the clarification I have made on the other 22 per cent that were known to care and protection, the 14,000 concern reports or the work that care and protection have done and undertaken over the last couple of years. But I do refer you to the milestone review panel reports that clearly—
MS BURCH: I do encourage you to go and have a look at the reports, the significant work that care and protection have undertaken. In a human service such as this, they are constantly under review. As I mentioned yesterday, with the out-of-home care strategy, that is out. There is a discussion paper out for consultation as well, to make sure that we have the care and protection system at best practice, that when children are removed into care we have the best practices there as well.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what evidence have you got that the changes you have implemented are improving the situation, given the recent reports?