The Child Protection Systems Royal Commission delivered its report, 'The Life They Deserve', in August 2016. The report made 260 recommendations about improvements to the child protection system.

Read about each recommendation on this page, including details of the government’s response, and progress so far.

You can also read about our progress in the 2018 A Fresh Start progress report (PDF, 1.6 MB).

  • 1

    Establish a protocol to govern eligibility for a grant of legal aid to carers, where the child’s best interests would be better or more appropriately secured by obtaining Family Court orders, rather than by proceedings in the Youth Court. Further, that funding be provided to the Legal Services Commission and quarantined for this specific purpose.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Twelve matters have received a grant of aid under the Legal Services Commission’s guidelines to grant legal aid to carers in matters where the child's best interests would be better or more appropriately secured by obtaining Family Court orders rather than by proceedings in the Youth Court. The guidelines are activated when an application is made for legal aid by a carer on the suggestion of the Department for Child Protection. The funding to be provided to the Legal Services Commission and quarantined for this specific purpose is yet to be established.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Legal Services Commission (LSC)

  • 2

    Fund, subject to a protocol, any required filing costs where there is a need for Youth Court orders to be registered in the Family Court to improve the safety of the children to whom they relate.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    If a Youth Court order requires registration in the Family Courts in a proceeding in which a client has a grant of legal aid, the filing costs of registering the order are waived.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Legal Services Commission (LSC)

  • 3

    Support and promote for action, recommendation 5(a) of the Family Law Council interim report (June 2015), which advocates for the development of a national database of child protection and Family Court orders.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Department for Child Protection is supporting recommendation 5(a) of the Family Law Council interim report (June 2015), which advocates for the development of a national database of child protection and Family Court orders through the Family Violence Working Group (established by the National Law, Crime and Community Safety Council).

    This Group is considering options to implement an information sharing regime to improve the accessibility of family violence, child protection and family law orders, judgements, transcripts and other relevant documentation across the state, territory and Commonwealth courts and other agencies.

    One of the principles guiding the development and implementation of this information sharing regime, is it should be compatible with, and able to be enhanced by technology, to ensure efficient and timely sharing of information.

    The department will continue to monitor and support the Working Group to progress this work and improve interactions across federal family law and state and territory family violence systems.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The Family Law Council’s final report, published by the Federal Attorney-General since the release of 'The Life They Deserve', reiterates its advocacy for the development of a national database for child protection and Family Court orders.

    The creation of a national database has been advocated for in many states and territories – for example the establishment of a national database was also recommended by the Royal Commission into Family Violence (Victoria).

    The South Australian Government supports the development of a national database of child protection and Family Court orders, as proposed by the Family Law Council, and will promote this issue for action at COAG.

  • 4

    Reinstitute the court liaison role (CLR) 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.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Court Services and Liaison team continues to focus on improving the quality of the Department for Child Protection's practice in the Youth Court. The team provides training to departmental staff regarding Youth and Family Law Court processes and practice considerations.

    It is also working to improve relationships with key stakeholders in the Crown Solicitor's Office, the Youth Court and Family Law Courts, and to improve information sharing with the Family Law Courts.

    To further strengthen strategic links between the department and the Family Law Court, the department has recently committed to the recruitment of a child protection officer to be out-posted in the Federal Circuit Court.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 12 August 2016.

    The court liaison role was reinstituted in the form of the Court Services and Liaison Team within the Department for Child Protection. The team became operational in August 2016.

    This team is currently providing valuable support to case workers and social workers across the Department for Child Protection. The team is responsible for managing the relationship and strategic link between the department and the Youth Court.

    Further work will be undertaken to develop the role of this team in managing and strengthening strategic links between the department and the Family Court.

  • 5

    Move the Office of Child Protection and the functions of Families SA out of the Department for Education and Child Development to establish a separate department that has the business of child protection as its primary focus, and which has elements and functions as set out in this report.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this interim recommendation on 21 June 2016.

    The new Department for Child Protection was established on 1 November 2016. The functions of Families SA were moved out of the Department for Education and Child Development and into the new agency, which has child protection as its primary focus.

    To make the transition as seamless as possible, the new department has retained Families SA’s contact numbers.

    For more information on the new department visit https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/

  • 6

    Appoint a Chief Executive of the new department who has strong leadership skills and recognised credibility in child protection work, and who has a direct line of ministerial responsibility.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this interim recommendation on 21 June 2016.

    After an international search, Cathy Taylor was announced as the new chief executive of the stand-alone Department for Child Protection on 14 September 2016.

    Ms Taylor commenced as chief executive on 31 October 2016. For more information about Ms Taylor visit https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/department/chief-executive-child-protection

  • 7

    Implement a structure in the new department that reduces the hierarchies between leadership and front-line workers.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    A new leadership structure has been established which has reduced hierarchies between leadership and front-line workers. From July 2017, DCP began implementing the new regional structure within the Service Delivery and Practice directorate, and have recruited the 4 regional directors.

    More detail on the structure can be found on the DCP website.

    Terms of Reference for the Senior Executive Group have been approved. As part of the operation of the Senior Executive Group, meetings are held at different sites across the department to provide an opportunity for front-line workers to connect with the Executive and share their experiences, ideas and feedback on changes taking place.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this interim recommendation on 21 June 2016.

    As an order of priority, the chief executive, Department for Child Protection has been tasked with reviewing and implementing a flatter structure, where streamlined communication between executive and frontline workers is encouraged.

  • 8

    Establish a refreshed leadership in the new department with emphasis on the attraction and retention of leaders who have recognised credibility in child protection work, and who have the capacity to lead a major reform of organisational culture.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    A new leadership structure has been established which as included the appointment of new executive who have experience and credibility in child protection work and a track record of leading a major organisational change successfully.

    A new regional Service Delivery and Practice structure has been established and began implementation in July 2017. Four regional directors have been recruited.

    The Service Delivery and Practice Executive Group has been established and terms of reference approved. This group meets fortnightly and is charged with leading practice and service delivery improvement across the department.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this interim recommendation on 21 June 2016.

    The new Chief Executive, Cathy Taylor, commenced 31 October 2016. Ms Taylor has extensive experience in child protection work, and in leading major organisational change.

    Ms Taylor’s appointment is just the first step towards establishing a refreshed leadership. In addition, through the machinery of government changes enacted to create the new Department for Child Protection, a process of refreshed leadership structures and positions has commenced with 3 senior executive leadership positions for finance, human resources and ICT advertised on 15 October 2016.

    Ms Taylor, with assistance from the newly established human resources department, will continue to drive this process into the new year.

  • 9

    Review the delegation of powers to enable decision making to occur at the closest possible level to the child, subject to questions of fiscal responsibility and sensitivity or complexity of the issues.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The delegations under the Children's Protection Act 1993 were reviewed and updated in September 2017 to provide for decision-making to occur at the closest possible level to the child and to reflect changes in the new organisational structure.

    The Department for Child Protection will review the delegations and associated policies and procedures on a regular and ongoing basis.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    As an order of priority, the chief executive, Department for Child Protection has been tasked with reviewing who can make decisions within the agency, and identifying opportunities to enable decision making to occur at the closest possible level to the child.

  • 10

    Adopt a policy that gives a child’s caseworker the primary responsibility for case management and, except in special circumstances, ensures that the caseworker is made aware of all discussions and decisions that affect the child.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    A new Policy Framework is being established by the Department for Child Protection as part of the organisational restructure.

    Consultation on the framework is underway and anticipated for release at the start of 2018.

    Central to the new framework is the Clinical Governance Framework and the Child Protection Practice Framework which will be finalised by the end of 2017.

    Together with a proposed manual of practice and recently revised delegations, these will provide caseworkers with the guidance, tools and increased authority to ensure that case management decisions can be made closer to the child.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The chief executive, Department for Child Protection has been tasked with adopting the policy recommended by the Royal Commission, and ensuring that the policy translates into practice. The chief executive will be required to regularly report on progress towards recommendation 10 in the manner outlined by the Royal Commission in recommendation 260.

  • 11

    Conduct a formal review of Solution Based Casework™ (SBC) to critically examine whether the model is being used with fidelity to the original model in practice.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Conduct a formal review of the Solution Based Casework (SBC) model has been undertaken and identified use of the model is irregular and inconsistent.

    The review makes a series of recommendations with a focus on achieving a consistent practice approach within the Department for Child Protection, based on the principles of SBC.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The Department for Child Protection commenced an SBC evaluation project on 28 September 2016. A key component of the project is to evaluate whether the model is being used with fidelity to the original model in practice.

    The evaluation will involve consultation with practitioners, supervisors, managers and staff from the Quality and Practice Directorate to identify ways SBC has improved practice and better understand the challenges that may result in the model not being appropriately applied.

    Findings of the evaluation project will be discussed with the model developer as part of the ongoing adaption of the model for use in South Australia.

  • 12

    Provide an ongoing SBC consultation and training service to be delivered by principal social work staff and appropriately accredited trainers in SBC who remain within the agency.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    In response to recommendation 12, the Department for Child Protection (DCP) is moving away from the Solution Based Casework (SBC) model and is developing a new practice approach to best meet the needs of children, young people and families in South Australia.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 13

    Audit the range of process and policy documents to identify and discard those that are out of date. Develop a single database that is accessible to all staff via the agency’s intranet, to electronically file all current documents.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    An audit of departmental process and policy documentations has been completed. This audit provides a platform from which existing documents are being reviewed, updated or retired. A process to work through the list of documents requiring review is underway with priority being given for those affected by the new Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.

    A new Department for Child Protection (DCP) Policy Framework has been developed and implemented. The Framework supports consistent processes for effective governance and decision-making to ensure departmental policy is dynamic and supports best practice.

    A new DCP intranet is now in place and provides the platform for all staff to access departmental policies. Senior Executives have overarching responsibility to monitor, evaluate and review departmental documents as required, and to ensure that information and processes that guide business remain current.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    In May 2015, a review of all Department for Child Protection process and policy documentation began. The primary purpose of this review is to:

    • identify all policy documentation that is no longer relevant or is out of date and decommission them
    • identify opportunities for rationalisation of policy documentation
    • improve and further develop current policy documentation
    • re-categorise and rename documentation to make it easier to find and access the information and guidance that front line workers require.

    All current policy documentation is stored on and accessible via the departmental intranet.

    A reviewed and streamlined set of policy documentation will be delivered by late-2017 and work to develop a single online database will begin during that period.

  • 14

    Employ administrative assistants at adequate levels of expertise to support casework teams to manage the administrative requirements of C3MS.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Not accepted

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government does not accept this recommendation.

    While the administrative requirements of case workers to record notes on C3MS can be time intensive, employing administrative assistants to undertake data entry and administrative C3MS tasks would not significantly reduce the office-based requirements of case workers.

    Instead it will create an additional layer of information exchange that may lead to key information about children and families being lost, miscommunicated or misinterpreted when uploaded by individuals not involved in the case.

    It may also result in double handing and only minimal efficiency gains, as case workers will still be required to type up or write the similar notes before they are uploaded by others.

    Based on the outcomes of the review of C3MS identified in recommendation 20 and other potential enhancements recommended in 15, 16, 17 and 19, it may be appropriate to consider administrative support for C3MS or an alternative database at a later date.

  • 15

    Develop clear guidelines for recording information on C3MS, which identify those responsible for data entry and the categories under which data is entered. Rationalise available categories to limit inappropriate categorisation of important information.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The process of updating guidelines for recording information in the Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS) has been completed. Ongoing updating is also being undertaken as critical enhancements are made to C3MS. A review of the rationalisation of available categories in C3MS has been completed. Reducing the number of categories is not possible at this time due to the limitations of the underlying C3MS technology. This issue will be addressed as part of the response to recommendation 20 and will be included in the C3MS replacement program of work.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 16

    Develop training in the use of C3MS to ensure that practitioners understand their obligations in uploading data, and the limitations of the incident-based nature of recording.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) ICT and Information Management training strategy has been incorporated within the DCP Learning and Development Strategy 2018-2021. Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS) training programs have been reviewed and changes have been made to the content and format to increase effectiveness. Ongoing modifications are being made to the training programs in response to learner needs. This includes the development of eLearning modules to enable more flexible and responsive learning options. A review of support request data has been completed and a corresponding program of workplace learning is being implemented targeting information recording associated with high volume support requests.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 17

    Provide practitioners with mobile devices to allow access to C3MS from remote locations.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Laptops with secure connectivity to the Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS) and other Department for Child Protection (DCP) systems are currently being deployed to all DCP office locations across the State. The program is on track to be completed by December 2019. The new method for securely connecting to DCP systems, including C3MS, will be rolled out to staff with existing remote access concurrently with the rollout of the laptops.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 18

    Permit stakeholders such as other government agencies and not-for-profit organisations limited access to C3MS to facilitate cooperation, collaboration and transparency.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Access by other government agencies to the Department for Child Protection’s Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS) has been increased where it is appropriate to do so. The C3MS review highlighted the challenges in making significant changes to the system. For this reason, it is currently not possible to provide limited access to not for profit organisations. There are however a number of initiatives being planned, including a proof of concept, using more up-to-date technology for sharing information with, and information being contributed by, other agencies.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 19

    Set constructive and practical benchmarks for the development of critical enhancements to C3MS.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection has developed processes to support the setting of constructive and practical benchmarks for the development of critical enhancements to the Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS). A review of this structure is currently underway to further refine governance and processes. A decision making model has also been developed and is applied to C3MS change requests to ensure priority is given to developing critical enhancements. An external review of C3MS has been completed with recommendations made to deliver on recommendation 20.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 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 a view to determining whether C3MS should be replaced with a more suitable and effective electronic information system.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The external review of the Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS) has been completed. The review found that C3MS no longer meets business needs and a phased approach to replacement is recommended. The first phase of a four phase replacement program was approved by the Department for Child Protection’s Senior Executive Group in June 2019.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 21

    Establish a human resources unit in the agency that has sufficient specialist expertise and resources to develop and implement strategic workforce plans and to manage operational demands to ensure high quality child protection practice.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Phase 2 of the Department for Child Protection’s (DCP) Human Resources Directorate structure has now been completed. This includes resourcing for the workforce strategy and organisational development functions. Recruitment has occurred to ensure these functions are resourced with sufficient specialist expertise.

    The Human Resources Directorate is now fully established and operational, and will continue to support DCP objectives through various workforce initiatives.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 22

    Establish a learning and professional development unit in the agency to lead training and professional development, for both professional and operational staff.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection’s (DCP) Practice Development Team responsible for professional training and development has transitioned from the Quality and Practice Directorate into the Human Resources Directorate. A new corporate learning and development function has been established in the Human Resources, Organisational Culture and Capability Team. The two directorates will work collaboratively to address the professional and corporate learning and development requirements of DCP. A Learning and Development Strategy 2018-22 has been developed to guide the planning and delivery of organisational training and professional development, and a mandatory training framework is being finalised.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 23

    Require professional staff in the agency to complete a minimum number of hours of professional development each year as a condition of their employment.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The minimum number of hours of professional development is now linked to registration of social workers and professional credentialing. The Department for Child Protection (DCP) is currently exploring possible approaches for the implementation of a social worker registration scheme in line with the government’s election commitment, including possible avenues for state-based legislation and/or a national approach through the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS).

    This registration of social workers has significant implications for social workers employed in a wide range of government and non-government settings and requires significant stakeholder engagement and consideration. DCP has been working with the Department for Health and Wellbeing, as the largest employers of social workers in the South Australian public sector, regarding impacts. DCP has also been involved in discussions with:

    • Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
    • University of South Australia
    • Flinders University
    • SA Council of Social Service (SACOSS)
    • Department for Health and Wellbeing

    Key aspects of this work will be informed by the Parliamentary Joint Committee, which was established in January 2018 to evaluate a Bill proposed by the Hon. Tammy Franks, MLC, regarding registration of social workers in South Australia.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 24

    Charge the executive of the agency, through the human resources unit, with a review of current practices and the development of evidence-based strategies relevant to:

    1. workforce records and data management
    2. workforce qualification profiles, including requiring any staff holding a case load to be degree qualified in a discipline relevant to child protection
    3. the recruitment, selection, induction and retention of staff, including managing all recruitment and selection centrally
    4. career, including management, pathways
    5. workload management
    6. performance planning, support and monitoring for enhanced staff performance
    7. professional development requirements, opportunities and resourcing, including adopting a professional development reimbursement program modelled on that operating in SA Health.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) is implementing a number of activities addressing aspects of this recommendation, including development of a workforce profile to inform workforce planning and strategy that considers organisation and role design, attraction and retention, and career development.

    DCP has implemented the government's election commitment to broadening the acceptable qualifications for child protection workers, enabling other relevant degree qualifications to undertake case management roles. DCP is continuing to evaluate the role of non-degree qualified workers undertaking case management.

    Following the establishment of the Recruitment Team within the Human Resources (HR) Directorate, DCP is evaluating and developing its recruitment, selection, induction, orientation and retention systems and processes.  Recruitment and selection processes for child and youth workers are centrally managed by HR, with appropriate input from Residential Care leadership. Campaign recruitment activities for other roles are centrally coordinated by HR with selection processes remaining the responsibility of service delivery teams. HR is developing recruitment and selection training to enhance practices and quality of recruitment and selection processes and outcomes.

    An organisational performance program has been established involving regular review and monitoring of service activity, flow and quality of services delivered across regions and out-of-home care.

    Staff performance development processes have been standardised. The HR Operations team has commenced training in managing unsatisfactory performance with leadership teams, with online training modules available for managers and employees. Other performance management related training, including Crucial Conversations and Transforming Conversations has been taking place across DCP. Monthly HR dashboard and employee summary reporting has been established, including data on Performance Development Plan (PDP) completion rates. An ongoing communications campaign promoting the PDP process is also now in place.

    DCP has reviewed and updated its study assistance program which includes provisions for professional development reimbursement.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 25

    Provide a psychological service to work with the executive to address the high levels of workplace stress in the agency.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection is developing a Staff Wellbeing Framework that will encompass a range of initiatives and activities that contribute to promoting and maintaining the psychological wellbeing of staff. The framework is being informed by a number of workplace indicators, including the 2018 public sector I WORK FOR SA staff survey. New Employee Assistance Program (EAP) providers and services have been introduced following a tender process undertaken in late 2018, and includes the provision of specific services for Aboriginal staff.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 26

    Appoint clinical managers to each metropolitan hub and regional office of the agency and review professional line-management structures accordingly.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Not accepted

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government does not accept this recommendation.

    The government accepts the Royal Commission’s comments at page 101 of 'The Life They Deservereport about ensuring that clinical decisions are made by appropriately qualified staff. However, instead of creating new clinical manager positions, the department will revisit the role and location of principal social workers to ensure that these workers are performing the functions described in the report at page 101.

    In addition, the reforms being progressed to ensure decision making occurs at the closest possible level to the child (recommendation 9), and that a child’s caseworker has primary responsibility for case management (recommendation 10), will drive better decision making across the department.

  • 27

    Invest in clinical management, supervision and practice improvement, including the development of a supervision framework.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    A Department for Child Protection (DCP) Supervision Framework has been drafted and the sourcing of a professional supervision education program has commenced. In addition, as per recommendation 12, DCP is moving away from the Solution Based Casework (SBC) model and is developing a new practice approach to best meet the needs of children, young people and families in South Australia.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 28

    Establish formal and regularly evaluated relationships between the agency and the tertiary education sector that are designed to:

    1. enhance student and academic knowledge and experience of child protection practice
    2. attract desirable graduates
    3. expand and focus child protection practice research
    4. ensure that the agency and its staff are kept abreast of contemporary professional research and literature.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection’s (DCP) Practice Development Team meet every three months with relevant universities across the state. The Student Social Work Program has been expanded with an additional AHP2 coordinator appointed on an ongoing basis. The Recruitment Team have established and are piloting a Graduate Employment Register for Social Work graduates, as a means to strengthen employment pathways for social work graduates into careers with DCP. The team continues to participate in university career events to promote employment opportunities within DCP.

    In June 2019, DCP held its inaugural Research Management Committee meeting with representation from across the child protection sector. The Committee is charged with:

    • Leading the development, implementation and ongoing monitoring of the DCP Research Framework.
    • Supporting a culture of responsible and ethical research practice that is child and family focused and culturally sensitive.
    • Determining DCP’s strategic research priorities and directions, including alignment of research to the organisation’s strategic priorities.
    • Reviewing, assessing, and making recommendations for research applications, amendments and publications to be endorsed against DCP’s priorities and guidelines.
    • Monitoring approved research progress until research is completed.
    • Reviewing draft research publications to approve publication.
    • Facilitating partnerships and collaborative activity with internal and external stakeholders.
    • Developing a Research Communications Strategy to ensure research findings are shared and translatable across DCP.

    DCP has recently collaborated in six completed tertiary research projects and is currently partnering in nine tertiary research projects, with three applications being considered.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 29

    Establish a postdoctoral fellowship program in conjunction with the tertiary education sector to advance areas of research relevant to the agency.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD) awarded funding of close to $1 million for two post-doctoral fellowship programs in October 2018. Five researchers at the Australian Centre for Child Protection and Flinders University will undertake new research that builds on previous studies undertaken following the 2016 Nyland Royal Commission. Research reports and more detail can be found on the EIRD website at www.dhs.sa.gov.au/eird.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

  • 30

    Require the agency to take a lead role with other stakeholders to develop and implement a workforce strategy designed to improve staffing practices and performance across the broader child protection system.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department of Human Service has commenced a series of co-design workshops to design a new system of child and family supports. The co-design process has involved working with front line workers, such as allied health and social work professionals as well as service users to look at how a connected system can be established that delivers the right service in a timely way. One area that is being explored as part of the co-design process is developing the workforce.

    In addition to this, the Department for Child Protection (DCP) is working on a trial of a community of practice approach. This will target disability practice, to grow practice knowledge across the sector’s workforce.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 3

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 31

    Maintain the current mandatory reporting threshold set out in section 11 of the Children’s Protection Act 1993.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Children and Young People (Safety) Bill 2017 maintains the current mandatory reporting threshold.

    The Bill was introduced into Parliament on 14 February 2017 and is currently before the Legislative Council.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    Under the Children’s Protection Act 1993 (SA), people in a range of professional or voluntary positions are required to notify the Department for Child Protection if they reasonably suspect that a child has been or is being abused or neglected, and that this suspicion is formed in the course of the person’s paid or voluntary work.

    In 'The Life They Deserve', the Royal Commission rejects the assumption that growing demand on our child protection system is a result of unnecessary notifications to the department, encouraged by a low mandatory reporting threshold in comparison to other states.

    The South Australian Government will maintain the current legislative threshold for mandatory reporting. Instead, demand on the system will be reduced over the longer term through investment in early intervention and prevention programs.

  • 32

    Review the screening and response priority tools to ensure they give due weight to cumulative harm, chronic neglect, social isolation, underlying causes of dysfunction, the need to conduct timely forensic medical assessments, and the expertise and experience of professional notifiers.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) currently uses Structured Decision Making (SDM) screening and response priority tools. A revision of SDM tools was completed in October 2018 and implemented in the DCP Call Centre following extensive training to staff. All relevant Call Centre staff are now trained to give due weight to cumulative harm and associated risk factors.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 33

    Review screened-out notifications periodically to ensure the threshold is being correctly applied.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The review of screened out notifications to ensure correct threshold is being applied as part of standard practice in the Department for Child Protection’s Call Centre in direct response to this recommendation and as an ongoing quality assurance task.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 34

    Invest in the professional development of the agency’s Call Centre practitioners, including, but not limited, to:

    1. the implementation of case reading
    2. regular clinical supervision
    3. the introduction of a tailored induction program
    4. ongoing training in the specific skills required of Call Centre practitioners.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) is committed to the ongoing learning and development of DCP Call Centre staff. Case reading, clinical supervision, professional development opportunities and monitoring progress of new staff has been introduced to ensure consistent and appropriate staff development is a key focus of the Call Centre leadership team.

    Investment in this area will continue to be a priority for DCP.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 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.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection’s Child Abuse Report Line (CARL) call-back system has been fully implemented and has been operational since July 2018. In 2018-19 there were 3,918 call-backs made, with zero abandonment rate, 3,890 answered within two hours, at an average of 99.3% of call-backs made within two hours. A message is left in cases where the notifier is not available to receive the returned call.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 36

    Staff the Call Centre at a level that would permit the achievement of the following service benchmarks:

    1. a maximum waiting time of 30 minutes for a telephone call to be answered
    2. a maximum of 24 hours to assess an eCARL notification
    3. a maximum delay of 2 hours for a call back.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Strategies to improve call wait and processing times for the online reporting system (eCARL) are being implemented to achieve sustainable improvements.

    Review of the Department for Child Protection Call Centre’s data over the past 12-month period indicates a significant improvement. The average wait time in 2018-19 for answered calls to the Child Abuse Report Line (CARL) was 11 minutes 1 second, while in 2017-18 the average call wait time was 15 minutes 46 seconds. The data for 2018-19 indicates that the monthly average call wait time has not exceeded 15 minutes.

    In addition to this, a CARL Call Back system has operated since July 2018. In 2018-19, there were 3,918 call-backs made, with zero abandonment rate, 3,890 answered within two hours, at an average of 99.3%. A message is left in cases where the notifier is not available to receive the returned call.

    The continued monitoring and evaluation of the standards set in this recommendation are a priority for the Call Centre leadership team.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 37

    Ensure that the Call Centre is never left unattended. Crisis Care staffing levels should be immediately increased to no fewer than 3 staff at each shift.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Child Safety Pathway intake service model, implementation plan and supporting quality assurance and performance framework have been developed.

    To build the capacity of the call centre, additional employees have now been recruited. An on-call roster system has been integrated into the staff rotation which ensures the call centre is never left unattended.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 8 August 2016.

    The implementation of the Child Safety Pathway, and the effects of additional resources that will be deployed to support Call Centre and Pathway operations will be designed to ensure that this recommendation is implemented.

  • 38

    Abandon the proposal to engage unqualified call agents to receive telephone notifications. Telephone calls from notifiers must only be taken by degree-level, tertiary qualified and experienced practitioners.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted- Completed

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 8 August 2016.

    The pilot project to engage unqualified call agents to receive telephone notifications was abandoned on 12 August 2016.

    As part of the development of a new child protection system and the trialling of a new Child Safety Pathway, the government intends to employ qualified call agents with relevant tertiary degrees in social and human services. >

  • 39

    Update, as a matter of urgency, public information concerning the services offered by the Crisis Care service.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 8 August 2016.

    Public information on the new Department for Child Protection website has been updated. Out-of-date information has been removed from the Department for Education and Child Development website.

    Non-government agencies who maintain websites with out-dated information are being identified, contacted and provided with a new description of Crisis Care services.

  • 40

    Provide automated electronic feedback to all notifiers, confirming receipt of their notification (in the case of eCARL). Post-assessment, what screening and response priority assessments were made in relation to their notifications.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    All individuals who provide notification about suspected abuse or neglect through the Department for Child Protection’s online reporting system (eCARL) receive an automated message informing them that the notification has been received. An assessment to determine the appropriateness of providing notifiers with additional, post-assessment information will be undertaken as part of Phase 2 of reform implementation improvements.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 41

    Record notifications directly into an electronic log sheet that pre-populates the C3MS intake record.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    An Electronic Log Sheet (ELS) has now been developed and is fully implemented into the Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS).

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) will continue to improve the efficiency and user experience of C3MS.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 42

    Review and improve the efficiency of recording practices of Notifier Only Concerns (NOCs).

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 219 update

    The Department for Child Protection’s Call Centre leadership team has conducted a review of the efficiency of recording and the assessment of Notifier Only Concerns in the context of the Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS) review.

    As a result, changes to practice have been implemented by the Call Centre leadership team and further work is underway to develop practices related to referral and expansion of diversionary options.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 43

    Ensure the agency regains control of, and strictly oversees, mandatory notification training, including creating and updating an appropriate training package and a mandatory notifiers’ guide, and regularly auditing training to ensure fidelity.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Planning continues to develop a comprehensive quality assurance framework which will contribute to ensuring the fidelity of the Safe Environments training program. The framework will focus on continuous improvement in the quality of the Safe Environments trainers through regular audits and other compliance mechanisms.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

  • 44

    Make mandatory notification training compulsory for:

    1. registered teachers
    2. general medical practitioners
    3. police officers
    4. other mandated notifiers who are employees of, or volunteer in, a government or non-government organisation that provides health, welfare, education, sporting or recreational, childcare or residential services wholly or partly for children, where the notifier either
      (a) is engaged in the actual delivery of those services to children or
      (b) holds a management position in the relevant organisation, the duties of which include direct responsibility for, or direct supervision of, the provision of those services to children.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Section 14(2)(b) of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 requires the Department for Child Protection (DCP) Chief Executive, to ensure that education relating to the operation of section 31 is made available to persons who are required under that section to report a suspicion that a child or young person is, or may be, at risk. In addition, section 114 of the Act requires certain organisations working with children to prepare or adopt policies and procedures that ensure that the requirements of Chapter 5, Part 1 (reporting of suspicion that a child or young person may be at risk) are satisfied and to provide a statement to the Chief Executive about these policies and procedures.

    Two training programs are currently offered to staff and volunteers in organisations required to ensure safe environments for children and young people, Safe Environments for Children and Young People: Through their Eyes which is provided by public training providers and Responding to Abuse and Neglect in Education and Care which is required of anyone working or volunteering at a Department for Education site.

    A Mandatory Notifier Guide (MRG) is publicly available on the DCP website. The MRG was developed to provide essential guidance to mandatory notifiers when making a notification and has been designed through consultation and training activities in collaboration with high use notifiers, including South Australia Police, the Department for Education and the Department for Health and Wellbeing.

    Four half-day train the trainer training sessions were delivered by the Children’s Research Centre in September 2018 with over 100 participants across government and non-government agencies. DCP continues to provide MRG training and scope options to embed the MRG into an interactive format.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Education

  • 45

    Restrict access to eCARL to notifiers who have completed mandated notifier training.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 219 update

    Planning and assessment has commenced to review eCARL functionality, including options for restricting access to eCARL for mandated notifiers.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Education

  • 46

    Include an interactive mandatory notifier guide at the start of eCARL.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    A Mandatory Notifier Guide (MRG) has now been finalised and is publicly available on the Department for Child Protection (DCP) website. The MRG provides essential guidance to mandatory notifiers when making an eCARL notification and has been designed through consultation and training activities in collaboration with high use notifiers, including South Australia Police, the Department for Education and the Department for Health and Wellbeing.

    Four half-day train the trainer training sessions were delivered by the Children’s Research Centre in September 2018 with over 100 participants across government and non-government agencies. DCP continues to scope options to embed the MRG into an interactive format.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 47

    Amend Part 4, Division 1, of the Children’s Protection Act 1993 to include a new provision permitting, but not requiring, a notifier to report concerns about an unborn child, regardless of the stage of pregnancy.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including section 31(3). This section includes provisions for reporting a suspicion that a child or young person may be at risk, including the physical or psychological development of an unborn child. As to this recommendation, no regulations have been made in relation to the relevant provisions of the Act. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection

  • 48

    Abandon the policy restricting the recording of Report on Unborn (ROU) children to 34 weeks’ gestation or later.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 12 August 2016.

    The policy restricting the recording of ROU children to 34 weeks’ gestation or later has been abandoned.

    The Interagency Code of Practice published in July 2016 now states that an Unborn Child Concern should be recorded as an intake from 20 weeks gestation or later. The Code of Practice was developed by an across Government and sector committee including key stakeholders from SA Health, SAPOL and the Department for Education and Child Development.

    A Practice Circular document was developed to provide an update on the ‘report on unborn policy’ and was circulated to Department for Child Protection staff on 20 October 2016.

  • 49

    Institute longer term funding arrangements for prevention and early intervention services, subject to evaluation and performance criteria.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    As part of the reforms to reduce red tape and improve contracting arrangements between State Government and the Not-for-Profit sector, the South Australian Not-For-Profit (NFP) Funding Policy and Standardised Indexation Policy came into effect in July 2017 with a transition period to January 2018 (see Department of the Premier and Cabinet Circular 044).

    This provided that where appropriate, public authorities would offer longer term contracts (three years plus three years plus three years) to enable strong, ongoing relationships.

    In March 2019, the South Australian Government announced the implementation of a Child and Family Support System (CFSS).

    The decision to create the new system was based on evidence from the Early Intervention Research Directorate's (EIRD) research program.

    CFSS will be an integrated system that delivers timely, evidence-based support services so that more children can live safely with their families and fewer need to enter out-of-home care.

    Implementation of the new system is underway, including consolidating government-delivered and commissioned early intervention and prevention services under a single unit in the Department of Human Services.

    EIRD is leading a co-design process with stakeholders across the sector to design key elements of the new system, including commissioning arrangements, referral pathways and monitoring and evaluation processes.

    A key focus area for co-design is ensuring the system is better able to support Aboriginal children and families.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

  • 50

    Establish an Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD) to:

    1. prepare a Prevention and Early Intervention Strategy that is updated at least every 5 years:
      1. to identify service models that have proved effective or show promise in promoting the health, safety and wellbeing of children in South Australia
      2. to serve as the basis of decisions by South Australian Government agencies to fund prevention and early intervention services
      3. to form the basis of negotiations with the federal and local governments, with a view to coordinating funding priorities
    2. establish research partnerships and fund evaluations of innovative service models to determine their effectiveness and value for money
    3. focus on the prevention and early intervention investment priorities identified in this report.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD) developed its Prevention and Early Intervention Strategy, following extensive consultation, research and data analysis. The strategy provides a high level framework for whole-of-government evidence-based action to support the state's children and families vulnerable to child abuse and neglect.

    The strategy contains 4 strategic themes through which action will be driven:

    • support our most vulnerable
    • prioritise Aboriginal children, families and cultures
    • strengthen the system
    • build the evidence.

    EIRD (established in December 2016) will continue to provide the SA Government with the evidence-base to guide decisions about prevention and early intervention for child abuse and neglect.

    EIRD's partnership with the academic External Expert Consortium and the Office for Data Analytics ensures peer-reviewed national and international research, as well as locally-commissioned research and evaluations that are specific to the South Australian community and context build on the evidence-base to inform future decisions.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The South Australian Government has partnered with the BetterStart Child Health and Development Research Group (Adelaide University), the Australian Centre for Child Protection and the Fraser Mustard Centre to establish the Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD) within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC).

    EIRD has been tasked with leading the implementation of recommendations 29, 49, and 192.

    Initial areas of focus for the EIRD will be:

    • to undertake data analytics to better understand the experiences of children within the child protection system, and when, where and how it is most effective for support services to intervene
    • to develop a best practice evaluation framework for early intervention and prevention programs
    • to conduct a service audit, monitoring and planning to maximise the impacts of investments in service delivery for vulnerable children
    • to include a specific focus on reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal children in the child protection system through better enhanced understanding and suitable approaches to early intervention and prevention.
  • 51

    Establish child and family assessment and referral networks in each region of Greater Adelaide and regional South Australia that include:

    1. a lead not-for-profit agency to manage, in partnership with the agency, a local entry point to services provided by partner agencies in the region, focusing on collaborative practice and coordinated, multi-service responses, when required
    2. an annual local assessment of needs (LAN) prepared by the lead not-for-profit agency after mapping the needs of vulnerable families and children in each region. The LAN would inform funding decisions for services
    3. child protection practitioners in each child and family assessment and referral network to support decision making in relation to child safety including when to refer higher risk families for a statutory response by the agency.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    All four Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks (CFARNs) are now in operation (metropolitan Adelaide’s north, south, and west, and the Limestone Coast). Relationships Australia, South Australia (RASA) is the non-government organisation who is the lead agency for the west CFARN. The CFARNs continue to work with children and families to provide a coordinated, targeted and culturally appropriate earlier intervention approach to improve safety, health, development and education where risk factors exist. All CFARNs have a Local Partners Group (LPG) which is the backbone of the CFARN working model. LPG meetings provide a local mechanism to consult on high-level, complex case-related matters and operational issues related to families referred to the CFARNs. The LPG also creates opportunities for the allocation of available resources across the region and collaborative responses across service partners.

    Local assessments of needs (LANs) have been developed and distributed to all CFARN regions.

    High-risk infant workers are embedded in each CFARN team.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

  • 52

    Employ qualified child wellbeing practitioners (CWPs) accessible to all staff in the department, but focusing on locations of greatest need, to consult with staff and to work directly with vulnerable families. CWPs should have on-site access to the agency’s electronic database.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implemeting
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Department for Education and Child Development's (DECD) Child Wellbeing Program has been successfully established and implemented.

    Child Wellbeing Practitioners are currently consulting with DECD staff and working directly with vulnerable families in approximately 300 of the state's most high risk education sites.

    All staff have access to C3MS.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation in principle.

    As stated in 'The Life They Deserve' “the South Australian Government announced it would employ up to 60 child wellbeing practitioners (CWPs) in schools to help staff identify vulnerable children and families and connect them to relevant services.”

    30 CWPs and CWP support staff were recruited by the Department for Education and Child Development in early 2016. An additional 30 were recruited in October 2016. These staff have been placed in schools based on locations and areas of greatest need. CWPs have on-site access to C3MS, the agency’s electronic database.

    The Child Wellbeing Practitioner program is currently being evaluated to determine whether the model of service is effective in working with vulnerable families. If the pilot is successful, work will be undertaken to determine how best to design a model that ensures CWPs are accessible to all staff.

  • 53

    Equip relevant government agencies to support vulnerable families by appointing existing employees as child wellbeing assistants (CWA), in addition to their usual role, to provide staff guidance about options to support vulnerable families.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Given the work of Child Safe Environments (CSE) and Child and Family Support System (CFSS) it is recommended that this recommendation not progress and be closed. The CSE and CFSS programs are able to provide advice to other government agencies on how best they can support vulnerable families where required.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Education

  • 54

    Implement a simple, common assessment framework, such as 'common approach', for use by government and not-for-profit services who work with vulnerable children and families.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Education's Student Support Services has developed a Common Approach which supports their staff who work with children, young people, and families. It focuses on strengths, places the child at the centre of the conversation, and considers all aspects of a family’s circumstances. The Common Approach is within the Student Support Services service delivery model. All student support services staff have been trained in use of the Common Approach.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Education

  • 55

    Convene regular cross-agency training and networking sessions for all child wellbeing practitioners (CWPs) and child wellbeing assistants (CWAs) in each local metropolitan and country region to increase their knowledge and support local interagency collaboration.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Child Wellbeing Practitioners provide support to schools, and staff in schools to increase their knowledge and are included within the Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks’ Local Partners Group which supports inter-agency collaboration for children and families and provides opportunities for practitioners to increase their knowledge.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

  • 56

    Amend the Children’s Protection Act 1993 to permit mandated notifiers to discharge their obligations by: reporting to the agency’s Call Centre (Child Abuse Report Line); or to designated child wellbeing practitioners, or by referral to a child and family assessment and referral network where the notifier believes a child’s circumstances would be adequately attended to by a prevention or early intervention program.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including section 31(4). This section designates the means by which mandated notifiers can discharge their obligations. It allows for additional means of notification to be added later, through a ministerial notice published in the Gazette. As to this recommendation, it is noted that no regulations have been made in relation to the relevant provisions of the Act. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection

  • 57

    Review procedures for strategy discussions to ensure they are convened promptly upon the receipt of notifications requiring investigation (and without delay when children present with physical injury). Discussions should include all relevant government and non-government participants and be re-convened as necessary.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    In July 2016, the Interagency Code of Practice: Investigation of suspected child abuse or neglect (ICP) was updated by a committee including representation from:

    • Department for Education and Child Development
    • Families SA
    • Attorney-General’s Department
    • Department for Communities and Social Inclusion
    • South Australia Police
    • Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
    • SA Health
    • Commissioner for Victims’ Rights
    • The Guardian for Children and Young People
    • Child Protection Services, Women’s and Children’s Hospital
    • Child Protection Services, Flinders Medical Centre.

    Section 3 of the ICP, ‘Strategy discussion’ provides detailed information about the purpose, appropriate configuration, composition and membership of strategy discussions. Section 4 also includes specific stipulations regarding physical injury and abuse.

    The updated guidelines and requirements in the ICP are clear and a significant improvement on previously available documented guidance.

  • 58

    Provide the agency’s practitioners with training, support and supervision to equip them to make realistic assessments of risks, particularly in areas of chronic maltreatment, cumulative harm, social isolation, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, family violence, and attachment and care needs of young children, to consider the views of children and to develop appropriate safety plans.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    A Department for Child Protection (DCP) Supervision Framework has been drafted and the sourcing of a professional supervision education program has commenced. In addition, DCP is implementing a practice approach that is tailored to DCP. The practice approach will be embedded in the DCP Manual of Practice and strengthened via training and development activities. The Manual of Practice is due for completion in December 2019 and will provide a single source of integrated practice guidance. Along with practice approach, the Manual of Practice will also bring together the DCP Practice Principles and the Structured Decision Making tools, which were revised in 2018.

    Training is being provided to DCP staff on Rosie 2, a facilitated online simulation program focusing on assessment of safety and risk and development of safety plans. To date, all metro Assessment and Support team offices have received the training, along with 5 country offices. Further sessions are planned for metro and country locations. A version of the program has also been delivered to nearly 100 Masters of Social Work students at the University of South Australia on two occasions (September 2018 and September 2019).

    Training has been provided to DCP workers in ASSIST, a drug and alcohol assessment referral tool to support referral to Drug and Alcohol Services SA when practitioners assess alcohol and other drugs are impacting on family functioning.

    The move away from classroom based learning to practice based learning, supported by facilitators in the work place, will continue to be a key focus of DCP in 2019-20.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 59

    Reconcile and integrate the agency’s assessment tools and documentation (including Solution Based CaseworkTM, the assessment framework and decision-making tools).

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has moved away from Solution Based Casework and is implementing a practice approach tailored to DCP in 2019. The DCP Manual of Practice is due for completion in December 2019 and will provide integrated practice guidance that reflects the new DCP practice approach, the DCP Practice Principles and Structured Decision Making tools which were revised in 2018.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 60

    Amend section 20 of the Children’s Protection Act 1993 to delete section 20(2) and (3), and include a provision which empowers the agency to issue a written direction to parents, guardians or other persons requiring them to submit to a drug and alcohol assessment, with the results to be provided to Families SA.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including section 36. This section includes provision for the Chief Executive of the Department for Child Protection to direct a person to undergo approved drug and alcohol assessments where there is suspicion that a child or young person is at risk. The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 also came into operation on 22 October 2018. Regulation 13 imposes further requirements regarding the directions and assessments which may be made under section 36 of the Act. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection

  • 61

    Ensure the agency responds to all screened-in notifications, either directly, or by appropriate referral, including responding promptly (including after hours) to notifications in which physical injuries are notified and the agency’s assistance is required to facilitate a forensic medical assessment.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    An evaluation of the Multi Agency Assessment Unit was undertaken in May 2019, which included consultation with all partner agencies.

    The evaluation report has been tabled to the Child Protection Reform Portfolio Management Board in June 2019 and a decision about future state is pending. Other diversionary pathways are being both explored and implemented. These include referral to State Authorities, trialling Family Group Conferencing and implementing an early intervention pilot project in matters of family violence.

    In relation to early intervention, the Community and Family Services division within the Department of Human Services consolidates a range of existing government services. The division is responsible for recommissioning of services following the co-design process that is currently underway for family preservation, targeted intensive support and other intensive non-government services that have functions relating to child abuse and neglect early intervention and prevention.

    The aim is to provide the right type and intensity of supports, at the earliest possible time, in the places where children and families are living to divert families from the statutory system. In addition to increasing diversionary pathways, the Department for Child Protection’s Protective Intervention backlog positions have been converted to ongoing positions in direct service delivery to ensure sustained capacity to respond.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 3

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 62

    Phase out the closure of intakes and files due to a lack of resources. This should occur over a period of no more than 5 years from the date of this report. In the interim, practitioners should be provided with clear guidelines as to the circumstances in which such closures are appropriate. There should be quarterly reports to the public on the rate of closures that are due to a lack of resources.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Preventing families requiring intervention by the Department for Child Protection (DCP) is critical to meeting this recommendation. The State Government has committed to establishing a new Child and Family Support System as part its broader child protection reform agenda. An extensive program of work informed by research, review and consultation undertaken by the Early Intervention and Research Directorate (EIRD) has commenced with a co-design process currently underway for family preservation, targeted intensive support and other intensive non-government services that have a child abuse and neglect early intervention and prevention function.

    This Community and Family Services division within the Department of Human Services consolidates a range of existing government services, including Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks (CFARNs), Child Wellbeing Practitioners, Family Practitioners and Strong Start. In addition, the management of EIRD and Community Services have been moved under this division, which has responsibility for recommissioning of services following the co-design process currently underway.

    Further to this, the State Government has recently announced two new intensive family support initiatives to prevent children entering the statutory child protection system, one in Northern Adelaide and an Aboriginal specific program in Western Adelaide. The State Government has also committed funding for Family Group Conferencing. Work is also being progressed by DCP including a strategy to further develop the Child Safety Pathway.

    New provisions in the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 allow for DCP to refer matters to State Authorities for an alternative response that more appropriately addresses the presenting risk to a child or young person. Referring cases to other responders such as school wellbeing officers and non-government organisations is an essential measure in reducing the number of notifications closed with no action, providing the most appropriate service response at the most appropriate time.  In addition to this, DCP has established an organisational performance program involving regular review and monitoring of service activity, flow and quality of services delivered across regions. As a result of these collective efforts Closed No Action (CNA) rates reduced to 43.6% of all screened in notifications for 2018-19 compared with 55.5% for 2017-18. Further improvement and achievement of this will be dependent on reform across the broader child protection system.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 3

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 63

    Amend section 19(1) of the Children’s Protection Act 1993 by deleting section 19(1)(b) thereof to provide that:

    1. if the Chief Executive suspects on reasonable grounds that a child is at risk, the Chief Executive must cause an assessment of, or investigation into, the circumstances of the child to be carried out or must effect an alternative response which more appropriately addresses the potential or actual risk to the child.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including Chapter 5 Part 2 (sections 32-40). These sections prescribe the actions which must be undertaken by the Chief Executive in response to reports that a child or young person may be at risk. The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 also came into operation on 22 October 2018. Regulations 11-16 set out further detail regarding the directions, testing and assessments which arise under Chapter 5 Part 2 of the Act. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection

  • 64

    Ensure that the agency focuses on case management of protective intervention cases and that not-for-profit agencies provide direct service delivery to families. All protective intervention programs should be evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that all such programs have an established evidence base.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Early Intervention and Research Directorate (EIRD) has completed its desktop evaluation of 100 government funded programs. This evaluation together with other research, reviews and consultations undertaken by EIRD directly informed the State Government’s strategy to design a new Child and Family Support System, which is part of the government’s broader child protection reforms. This Child and Family Support System includes the establishment of a new Community and Family Services division within the Department of Human Services. The Community and Family Services division consolidates a range of existing government services including Child and Family Assessment and Referral Networks (CFARNs), Child Wellbeing Practitioners, Family Practitioners and Strong Start. With the establishment of the Community and Family Services division, the management of all DCP service agreements for family preservation services transferred to DHS 1 July 2019. The new division includes EIRD and Community Services and has responsibility for recommissioning following the co-design process currently underway for family preservation, targeted intensive support and other intensive non-government services that have a child abuse and neglect early intervention and prevention function. The Department for Child Protection is a key partner in the co-design process.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

  • 65

    Establish a Child Protection Service (CPS) unit at the Lyell McEwin Hospital.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    On 25 March 2019 the Northern Child Protection Service (CPS) commenced the provision of tertiary child protection services. Accompanying policies and procedures have been completed and implemented. The CPS was fully operational in July 2019. The SA Health Clinical Services Capability Framework Child Protection Services Module has been endorsed and published. The module enables consistent delivery of tertiary child protection services within SA Health to children, young people and their families who have been referred by the Department for Child Protection or South Australia Police, following suspected or confirmed child abuse and neglect.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing

  • 66

    Amend the Children’s Protection Act 1993 to provide an independent model of expert assessment in similar terms to the Children’s Court Clinic in New South Wales.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Independent assessments are provided by agencies, including the three Child Protection Services based at the Flinders Hospital, the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the Lyell McEwin Hospital, in addition to the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. In addition, the Department for Child Protection’s (DCP) Psychological Services provide ongoing services to children and young people in care beyond assessments that are undertaken during court processes. As registered psychologists, who are bound by a Code of Ethics, psychologists must provide independent assessments to assist the court in their proceedings.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

  • 67

    Amend the Children’s Protection Act 1993 with respect to the procedures relating to family care meetings (FCMs) as follows:

    1. amend section 27(1) to provide that the agency should consider causing an FCM to be convened whenever it is of the opinion that a child is at risk but the risk appears capable of being addressed at an FCM
    2. repeal section 27(2)
    3. amends 36(6) to provide that an FCM decision would not be valid without the agreement of the relevant members of the family and the agency
    4. require the agency to give effect to FCM decisions, unless they are impracticable or inconsistent with the principles of the legislation, in which case the FCM should be reconvened or proceedings commenced in Court
    5. require FCM decisions to be reviewed after 3 months, but provide that any party to the decision may request an earlier and/or subsequent review, if required.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including Chapter 4 Part 2 (sections 21-27). These sections establish the processes by which Family Group Conferences may address a child or young person at risk. The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 also came into operation on 22 October 2018. Regulations 6 and 7 prescribe further detail regarding these conferences. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 68

    Review procedures and funding arrangements for the Youth Court Conferencing Unit:

    1. to enable the Unit to recruit and train a panel of child advocates for family care meetings (FCMs) - advocates should hold a valid child-related employment screening clearance
    2. to consider whether in an appropriate case a child’s foster parent should be invited to an FCM.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    As part of the review of procedures for appointing advocates for Family Group Conferences, it was identified that there would be a benefit for children if the Youth Court Conferencing Unit had an increased capacity to provide culturally appropriate advocates for Aboriginal children. The Unit is implementing recruitment processes to attract both Aboriginal Child Advocates and non-Aboriginal Child Advocates in regional areas. The specific recruitment strategy targeting advocates for Aboriginal children was developed after consultation with the relevant communities and Aboriginal Youth Justice Officers.  To ensure legislative compliance regarding consideration of foster parents’ involvement in Family Group Conferences, practice guidance has been developed to ensure the capacity for foster parents and interested parties to be able to participate in the process. The Unit's Practice Benchmarking tool is currently being reviewed and updated to reflect excellence in practice.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Courts Administration Authority (CAA)

  • 69

    Amend the Children’s Protection Act 1993:

    1. to require the child’s lawyer to:
      i. act in accordance with the child’s instructions to the extent the child is able and willing to give such instructions
      ii. supplement those instructions with his or her own view of the child’s best interests to the extent the child is not able and willing to give instructions (provided the lawyer’s views do not contradict any instructions the child is able and willing to give)
      iii. indicate the nature of the role to the child, in accordance with the child’s developmental capacity
      iv. indicate to the court on which basis submissions are made
    2. permit the court to appoint a child’s representative or, in emergencies, to dispense with the need for a representative. In the latter situation, the court should only make interim orders and then adjourn the proceedings to enable a duly instructed lawyer to represent the child.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including Chapter 6 Part 4 (sections 63 and 64). These sections prescribe the required conduct of the child's lawyer, and impose limits on the orders which can be made if a child or young person is unrepresented. As to this recommendation, no regulations have been made in relation to the relevant provisions of the Act. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 70

    Amend the Children’s Protection Act 1993 as follows:

    1. repeal section 38(1)(a) which concerns the making of orders for supervision and undertakings and section 38(2)(a)
    2. include as an object in the Act the importance of timely decision making to promote stability and maintenance for a child
    3. at the time of the commencement of care and protection proceedings the agency should assess whether there is a realistic possibility of reunification:
      1. within 6 months for a child under 2 years
      2. within 12 months for a child over 2 years
    4. if there is a realistic possibility of reunification within the timeframe specified in recommendation 70(c), the agency should seek an order placing the child under the guardianship of the minister for a period of either 6 or 12 months (depending on the age of the child), and file a permanency plan setting out the proposals for reunification
    5. if at the commencement of care and protection proceedings, or at any time thereafter, there does not appear to be any realistic possibility of reunification within the timeframe specified in recommendation 70(c), the agency should immediately apply for an order placing the child under the guardianship of the minister until the age of 18 years and file a permanency plan setting out the proposals for the long-term placement of the child
    6. if at any time special circumstances arise (particularly with respect to an older child) which make it necessary to extend the timeframes set out in recommendation 70(c) hereof the Court shall have the discretion to extend the timeframe for a period no longer than 6 months. In any such case the onus will be on the parties to demonstrate the need for such extension having regard to the child’s best interests and the potential risk to the child’s need for stability and permanence
    7. amend section 39(a) to delete the requirement to commence a hearing within 10 weeks, but provide that all proceedings be heard and determined expeditiously and that once the hearing commences, without special reasons, it should continue until the conclusion of evidence with the judgement delivered as soon as practicable thereafter.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including section 10. This section establishes the principles of intervention, including the requirement that decisions and actions under the Act must be made in a timely manner. This provision gives effect to recommendation 70(b). Section 56 requires proceedings under the Act to be dealt with expeditiously. This section implements recommendation 70(g). The remaining recommendations were not supported by the South Australian Government, and accordingly have not been adopted. As to this recommendation, it is noted that no regulations have been made in relation to the relevant provisions of the Act. To the extent that the South Australian Government supports this recommendation, its implementation is effectively complete. The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 commenced in part on 26 February 2018. The remainder of the regulations are suspended from operation in accordance with the delayed introduction of parts of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 71

    Encourage lawyers employed by the Legal Services Commission and the Crown Solicitor’s Office to undertake child protection training and require lawyers engaged through the Legal Services Commission to represent children in state child protection proceedings to hold a valid child-related employment screening clearance.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department of Human Services’ (DHS) screening clearances have been obtained for all Legal Services Commission (LSC) employees, with the exception of those who are newly appointed. Their applications are in progress. If a child requires legal representation, that matter will only be assigned to an external legal practitioner who has a DHS screening clearance. In July 2018 the LSC, the Crown Solicitor’s Office (CSO) and the Department for Child Protection (DCP) organised a joint seminar for in-house staff and child protection legal practitioners on the LSC panel. The seminar was conducted by Professor John Lynch and Dr Rhiannon Pilkington and was about the South Australian Early Childhood Data Project and what it means for the child protection system in South Australia. The CSO continues to provide training to relevant staff, with the assistance of professionals within DCP and other agencies. In June 2019 the CSO engaged in training regarding Psychological Services and family contact, which was delivered by DCP clinical staff.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

  • 72

    Ensure that contact arrangements meet the changing needs of children with respect to such matters as venue, transport arrangements and supervision, and that contact never occurs when the parent is or is suspected of being affected by drugs and/or alcohol.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) is conducting a review of the size, scale and scope of functions performed by each DCP local office to support greater equity of resource and case allocation as well as promote consistent standards and quality of services to children, young people, families and carers across DCP offices.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 73

    Amend the Children’s Protection Act 1993 to exclude contact arrangements from orders of the court and require all contact arrangements be referred to the agency for determination in accordance with the best interests of the child. The permanency plan filed at court should include a provision as to the resolution of contact disputes, including mediation procedures wherever possible.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including Chapter 7 Part 4 (sections 92-95). These sections provide that contact arrangements in respect of children and young people are to be determined by the Chief Executive. The provisions also establish a Contact Arrangements Review Panel. The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 also came into operation on 22 October 2018. Regulations 24-26 specify the requirements of contact arrangements and the establishment of the Review Panel. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 74

    Establish an independent standing expert Case Review Panel to review the issue of contact when mediation is unsuccessful and it is necessary to resolve any dispute as to contact arrangements.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) Contact Arrangements Review Panel has been operational since November 2018. The Panel meets fortnightly with membership including senior DCP clinical staff and external practice experts.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency:

  • 75

    Review and republish Rapid Response with updated guidance as to the extent of priority access for children in care.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019

    The Rapid Response strategic document has been drafted. It is an easily accessible brochure for Department for Child Protection staff, young people and carers that focuses on the key elements of what the program offers and who is eligible. More accessible information regarding priority access for children in care is in development. Enhancing the focus on priority access is a key strategy in supporting young people in care and transitioning from care.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 76

    Reinstate the inter-departmental committee overseeing Rapid Response to review its operation, at least biannually.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 12 August 2016.

    The inter-departmental committee overseeing Rapid Response will be reinstated in the form of the Coordinating Group for Care and Protection (CGCP). Cabinet approved the establishment of the CGCP in January 2016 with the first meeting held in May 2016. The first meeting after the release of the 'The Life They Deserve' report was held in November 2016.

    The CGCP is chaired by the Deputy Chief Executive Office for Child Protection. Membership includes senior delegates from all agencies involved in Rapid Response. These include:

    • Department for Child Protection
    • Department for Education and Child Development
    • SA Health
    • SA Police
    • Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (Housing SA, Disability & Domiciliary Care Services)
    • Department for State Development (Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)
    • Department of the Premier and Cabinet
    • Department of Treasury and Finance
    • Attorney-General’s Department
    • Department for Correctional Services

    The CGCP will consider a number of Nyland recommendations from the 'The Life They Deserve' report as part of its process of review.

  • 77

    Ensure that every child or young person in care has an allocated caseworker who has face-to-face contact with them once a month at a minimum.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) is conducting a review of the size, scale and scope of functions performed by each DCP local office to support greater equity of resource and case allocation as well as to promote consistent standards and quality of service to children, young people, families and carers across DCP offices.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 78

    Assess all children who are currently receiving a differential response for eligibility for Other Person Guardianship.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 219 update

    The Department for Child Protection’s (DCP) Other Person Guardianship (OPG) Policy and Procedure (2017) was reviewed and updated in October 2018. OPG is now referred to as Long-term Guardianship - Specified Person (LTG(SP)) in accordance with the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017. Suitability for LTG(SP) is considered at every child's annual review. An LTG(SP) assessor has been allocated to each DCP office to provide LTG(SP) practice guidance and consultation on allocated cases. There have been 47 OPG/LTG(SP) transfers in the 2018-19 financial year, as at 30 June 2019.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 79

    Assess whether allocation of a primary and secondary worker to deliver guardianship case management would improve the continuity of relationships with children.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) is conducting a review of the size, scale and scope of functions performed by each DCP local office to support greater equity of resource and case allocation as well as to promote consistent standards and quality of service to children, young people, families and carers across DCP offices.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 80

    Review the policy guidance and all other documents used for annual reviews to ensure compliance with section 52 of the Children’s Protection Act 1993, including requiring greater sharing of the information discussed at annual reviews.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) practice guidance currently emphasises sharing the outcomes of the annual review with the child or young person, their carers, care team and birth parents, where appropriate. This guidance will be reflected in the DCP Manual of Practice, due for release in December 2019.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 81

    Require that all annual reviews be chaired by a suitably qualified person who is independent of the case.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) practice guidance requires the supervisor to appoint a suitability qualified, independent chair for annual reviews. This guidance will be reflected in the DCP Manual of Practice, due for release in December 2019.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 82

    Give concurrent planning greater emphasis in case planning, especially for children during their active attachment period.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    In February 2018 a new practice guide 'Promoting permanence and stability for children through timely decision-making' was released by the Department for Child Protection. This guide promotes the importance of early decision-making regarding reunification for children to support the development of attachment relationships. This practice guide includes a section on the value of concurrent planning in stabilising placements and minimising disruption and uncertainty for children.

    More broadly, the new Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 provides the legislative framework for case planning and a series of principles to guide placement decisions. Ongoing legislation implementation will be supported by the development of a Manual of Practice which will include practice direction and guidance around early planning and permanency to embed these principles in practice.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The value of concurrent planning to support decisions regarding the best interests of children in care is acknowledged by the Department for Child Protection. 'The Life They Deserve' report documents a number of cases where concurrent planning supports positive placements, assists in reunification and informs decisions about children's placement and wellbeing.

    The Department for Child Protection will review the care planning policy to consider how best to promote case workers giving concurrent planning greater emphasis in case planning.

  • 83

    Review all placement breakdowns to determine and correct identified system deficits.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Analytical data and research is being progressed by the Department for Child Protection, while a program of contract reform has enabled foster care agencies to better support carers. The Carer Recruitment and Retention Taskforce has been established with non-government organisation service providers focusing on issues impeding on core recruitment and carer retention, including carers receiving information, and carer pre and post appointment training. This approach will inform ongoing quality carer support.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 84

    Provide therapeutic support to placements that are identified as being at risk or under stress.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has entered into new contracts with all foster care service providers which clearly define roles and responsibilities, including provision of support to carers in their caring role. These contracts commenced 1 July 2019.

    Support services including therapy are provided to children and carers where a placement is at risk or under stress. An initial 12-month contract to partner with a private provider to deliver specialised training and support to kinship carers has commenced. An evaluation of outcomes of this collaboration will be conducted in 2019 with findings informing future training and support models for kinship carers. DCP has also contracted a service provider to provide stabilisation and support to kinship care placements.

    More broadly, DCP has established a specialist disability program to ensure children with a disability are assessed early and receive National Disability Insurance Scheme funding to meet their needs. In addition to this, DCP and the SA Health Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) established the Interagency Therapeutic Needs Assessment Panel (ITNP) (recommendation 86) in February 2019, aligning with commencement of the ITNP Coordinator. The drafted operational Practice Guidelines and associated factsheet and referral form outline the panel background, criteria, membership and aims.

    Referrals to date have been received from CAMHS clinical coordinator for Guardianship and DCP office, Psychological Services, Local Health Network Out of Home Care Clinics and Department for Education. Regular fortnightly ITNP meetings commenced in May 2019.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 85

    Fund initial health assessment clinics at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) and Lyell McEwin Hospital to operate in accordance with the service model employed at FMC. This includes funding clinics at a level that enables a psychosocial component to be offered at every initial health assessment.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Each new referral received at SA Health's Out-of-Home Care Clinics at the Women's and Children Hospital, Flinders Medical Centre and Northern Adelaide Local Health Network hospital sites, Modbury Hospital and Lyell McEwin, offer a psychosocial component within the initial comprehensive health assessment.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing

  • 86

    Invest in the ongoing development of a therapeutic needs assessment panel led by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services for children in care whose therapeutic needs are identified in their initial health assessment.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The 12-month joint Interagency Therapeutic Needs Panel (ITNP) pilot project between the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and the Department for Child Protection (DCP) has been developed providing high level therapeutic planning and case direction for children with therapeutic care needs in out-of-home care.

    The ITNP service model is an escalation model between agencies. It provides a high level, interagency response to children and young people under Guardianship who are presenting with complex and specialised circumstances.

    The ITNP project commenced in February 2019 with the employment of a specialist social worker to the ITNP Co-ordinator position.

    The ITNP operational practice guidelines were developed and a trial panel was convened on 18 April 2019. Following this trial regular fortnightly panels commenced on 8 May 2019. A Fact Sheet and referral guide have been developed to support referrals by SA Health and DCP staff to the ITNP.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing

  • 87

    Develop an interagency panel modelled on the Exceptional Needs Unit’s management assessment panel to support case management of those children in care with complex needs who are not appropriately managed by existing services.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The interagency Therapeutic Needs Panel is currently being implemented. The lead agency is the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), working in strong partnership with the Department for Child Protection (DCP). The Panel is co-chaired by the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist for Children in Care, CAMHS and the Lead Psychiatric Director, DCP. This Panel is also working alongside the Complex Case Review Meetings, which have now commenced in DCP and are led by the Lead Psychiatric Director and Lead Practitioner. The Model is being reviewed three monthly.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 88

    Develop a mobile outreach service modelled on Yarrow Place’s mobile youth team for children and young people who frequently abscond from placement, and who are at risk because of factors other than sexual exploitation.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The effectiveness and options for a mobile outreach service is being considered with the review of the Yarrow Place Intensive Therapeutic Care Team as part of a broader evaluation facilitated through the South Australian Housing Authority in partnership with Flinders University.

    Ethics approval has been completed by Flinders University researchers and interviewing young people and clinicians are due to commence. The research advisory group includes clinician and consumer representatives of the Yarrow Place Intensive Therapeutic Care Team services.

    These evaluations will inform how best to address the needs of young people who abscond and are at risk because of factors other than sexual exploitation.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing

  • 89

    Improve the profile of Strategies for Managing Abuse Related Trauma (SMART) training for educational staff, requiring that to be part of professional development where appropriate.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Education has improved the profile of SMART training through active promotion and ensuring training caters for a range of staff and their roles. The Department for Education will continue to evaluate and improve SMART training. For 2019:

    • 32 sessions are scheduled in metropolitan and regional centres
    • New sessions include SMART for early career teachers, working with refugee families and a masterclass for those who have graduated in 2018 from SMART Train the Trainer and Graduate Certificate in Developmental Trauma
    • 25 school-based and support services personnel have commenced the Graduate Certificate in Developmental Trauma in 2019.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Education

  • 90

    Review and promote the Department for Education and Child Development’s (DECD) policies regarding school suspension, exclusion and expulsion to ensure that they are used as strategies of last resort for children in care.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implemented
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    A Department for Education draft Behaviour Support Policy emphasises safe inclusion of children and young people and exclusionary responses as strategies of last resort for all children.

    Annual preschool, primary and secondary data for the last 5 years of suspensions, exclusions and expulsions for children in care is being analysed to inform future policy and practice approaches to reduce the numbers of children in care who experience suspension, exclusion and expulsion.

    A full review of the Department for Education procedures for suspension, exclusion and expulsion commenced in 2019.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Education

  • 91

    Regularly conduct an audit of children in care who are on reduced hours of attendance at school and ensure they have plans to re-engage them in mainstream education.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    A second Department for Education audit commenced in term 2 with data collection to be completed by the end of term. Analysis will be undertaken to inform the re-engagement of children in care in their education. A regular schedule of audits has been established.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Education

  • 92

    Require the Department for Education and Child Development to fund any in-school support needed by children in care.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Department for Education

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 12 August 2016.

    All in-school support required by children in care is now funded by the Department for Education and Child Development.

  • 93

    Recruit and train a panel of school services officers to support children with trauma-related behavioural challenges.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Three agencies have been appointed to a panel of preferred providers for evidence-based trauma-informed practice in professional development and training, including the Australian Childhood Foundation, Berry Street Childhood Institute and Connected Self.

    A range of professional development and training options are available to individuals, leadership teams and whole preschools and schools.

    A total of 25 school-based and support services personnel have commenced the Graduate Certificate in Developmental Trauma in 2019.

    In addition, 113 preschools and schools have commenced engagement in the Trauma Aware Schools initiative to-date.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Education

  • 94

    Amend the practice guidelines regarding written directives to comply with the provisions of the Children’s Protection Act 1993 and provide training to child protection workers to ensure that they understand them.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    New practice guidance about issuing written directions under section 86 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (the Act) was developed and implemented to support the commencement of the remaining provisions (Phase 2) of the Act.

    This practice guidance will be incorporated into the Department for Child Protection (DCP) Manual of Practice, due for release in December 2019. State-wide training was delivered to DCP staff on the issuing of written directions as part of the implementation of the Act.

    Progress update

    A Manual of Practice is currently being developed by the Department for Child Protection and will be implemented as part of the commencement of the remaining provisions (Phase 2) of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.

    Process related written directives will be included in the Manual of Practice. Implementation of the Manual of Practice will be supported by a comprehensive implementation plan which will include professional development opportunities.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The Policy and Strategy unit within the Department for Child Protection (DCP) will be tasked with implementing this recommendation. DCP will update practice guidelines to comply with the provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Bill 2016, in consultation with principal Aboriginal consultants, key agency staff and with Crown law.

    Once the guidelines are updated (following passage of the Bill through Parliament), DCP will communicate this to all staff and offer training as appropriate.

  • 95

    Amend section 51 of the Children’s Protection Act 1993 to include a requirement that in all decisions affecting the child that are made in accordance with an order for guardianship, the child must be included in the decision making to the extent that they are capable and willing, and that the views of the child are given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Sections 62 and 80 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 26 February 2018. The remaining provisions of the Act came into operation on 22 October 2018, including section 85(3)(b)(iii).

    Recommendation 95 is implemented across all of these sections, which require that the child or young person is included in all decision-making (to the extent of their capability and willingness), and that their views are given due weight.

    The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 also came into operation on 22 October 2018.

    Regulation 20 provides further detail about the information to be provided to a child or young person. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 96

    Require the agency to report quarterly to the minister and to the Guardian for Children and Young People, and make public a report as to the following matters:

    1. compliance with the Standards of Alternative Care in South Australia 2.1, 2.2 and 2.6
    2. the proportion of children entering care whose health needs are assessed in accordance with the requirements of the relevant health standards
    3. the number and proportion of children and young people who have been reviewed in accordance with section 52 of the Children’s Protection Act 1993 at the time the review falls due.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Functionality has been developed for the Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS) and was implemented on 30 June 2019 to enable the Department for Child Protection (DCP) to report compliance with Standards of Alternative Care in South Australia, Standard 2.2 (caseworker contact).

    DCP is currently working through the development of reporting capabilities in order to support this, and it is anticipated that this will be completed by 31 December 2019.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 97

    Amend the Family and Community Services Act 1972 to include relative carers within the regulatory provisions of Part 4, Subdivision 3 and section 80. The definition of relative carers should include the categories of relatives who are currently excluded from the definition of foster parent in section 4 (step-parent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, grandfather or grandmother), who care for children in the custody of, or under the guardianship of, the minister.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including section 70.

    This provision enables the Chief Executive for the Department for Child Protection to establish appropriate categories of approved carers. Further, section 72 grants the Chief Executive the power to approve a person as an approved carer under the Act.

    As to this recommendation, it is noted that no regulations have been made in relation to the relevant provisions of the Act. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 98

    Amend the Family and Community Services Act 1972 to provide approved carers with a right to information for the purposes of caring for children in the same terms as in sections 143–145 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW).

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including Chapter 7 Part 1 Division 4 (sections 78-83).

    These sections give approved carers (and children and young people) a right to information relevant to placement. The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 also came into operation on 22 October 2018.

    Regulations 19-21 provide further detail about the information to be provided and permissible disclosure of that information. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 99

    Amend the Family and Community Services Act 1972 to provide for approved carers to be involved in decision making concerning a child in their care, in the same terms as in section 146 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW).

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including section 82. That section entitles approved carers to be involved in the decision-making processes for a child or young person in their care.

    As to this recommendation, it is noted that no regulations have been made in relation to the relevant provisions of the Act. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 100

    Amend the Family and Community Services Act 1972 to provide a specific right to approved carers to contribute to a child’s annual review pursuant to section 52 of the Children’s Protection Act 1993.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including sections 85(3)(b)(ii). This provision requires a Review Panel to allow a child or young person's carer to make submissions to the Panel regarding a review of the child or young person's circumstances.

    As to this recommendation, it is noted that no regulations have been made in relation to the relevant provisions of the Act. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 101

    Amend section 80 of the Family and Community Services Act 1972 to repeal the current requirement that foster parents care for a child for 3 years or more before delegations of powers can be made, and instead prescribe a minimum period of 12 months.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including section 76. This section grants the Chief Executive of the Department for Child Protection a broad discretion to delegate powers (as guardian of a child or young person) to an approved carer in whose care the child or young person is placed.

    This power of delegation could be exercised at any time. It will be a matter for internal policies to determine any minimum duration of a placement which may be required before the powers may be exercised.

    As to this recommendation, it is noted that no regulations have been made in relation to the relevant provisions of the Act. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 102

    Outsource assessment and support of kinship carers to appropriately qualified non-government organisations in accordance with the service models which currently apply to foster care.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Not accepted

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government does not accept this recommendation.

    During the development of the response to 'The Life They Deserve' report, the government received significant feedback about this recommendation. The majority of this feedback indicated that kinship carers and the wider community do not support the outsourcing of kinship carer assessment and support.

    The Department for Child Protection will continue to work with kinship carers to consider options for the involvement of non-government organisations in kinship carer support services.

  • 103

    Develop or purchase a comprehensive kinship assessment tool for assessing the safety and appropriateness of kinship placements.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    In 2017, the Department for Child Protection contracted the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) to adapt the Step by Step 2016 kinship assessment and review resources for South Australia. This tool has now been purchased and adapted to the South Australian context.

    Complementing this tool, in December 2017, DCP has also purchased the Winangay Aboriginal Kinship Care Assessment tool, which is being rolled out across the state.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 104

    Invest resources in the department’s Carer Assessment and Registration Unit to expand services to include consideration of applications for registration by kinship carers. These registrations would be in accordance with an appropriate assessment tool, and would authorise the carer to provide care to a specific child or children only.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Department for Child Protection's Carer Approval and Review Unit is now overseeing full kinship care assessments. The carer approval pathway is being reviewed for both foster and kinship care to enable streamlined screening and assessment.

    The Step by Step and Winangay Aboriginal Kinship Care assessment tools have both now been adopted and implementation of the tools has commenced.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation in principle.

    Implementation of this recommendation is subject to the outcomes of the Department for Child Protection's review, discussed in the response to recommendation 103.

    The Department for Child Protection's Carer Registration Unit currently makes the approval or non-approval decision for full kinship care assessments. The initial registration approval decision is made by the Placement Services Unit, another team in the Department for Child Protection.

    The role of both of these teams in the assessment and approval process will be considered in the review.

  • 105

    Establish a Families SA Carer Assessment and Registration Unit service benchmark for assessment and registration decisions of 14 days where the assessment is complete and further information is not required from the assessing agency.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Where the full assessment is received, the 14-day service benchmark is being met.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation in principle.

    The establishment of service benchmarks will occur following the establishment of a project team to address the existing backlog in assessments of kinship carers (recommendation 109).

    In addition, review of kinship care assessment processes and tools discussed at recommendation 103 will identify a suite of improvements, process changes and new tools. Once implemented these improvements will contribute to the achievement of the benchmark for assessment and registration decisions of 14 days after receipt where no further information is required.

  • 106

    Develop a process for carers seeking approval (foster parents and kinship carers) to provide preliminary information about themselves and other adults who frequent their home to enable comprehensive C3MS checks to be done before a full Step by Step or other appropriate assessment is completed.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The carer approval pathway for foster and kinship carers has been streamlined to enable initial screening.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation in principle.

    The Department for Child Protection will undertake a comprehensive review of the assessment and training of foster carers. Following this review, recommendation 106 will be considered in light of its findings.

    Currently, checks on applicants, their family and other adults who frequent their homes are completed at the point of registration approval by the Carer Assessment and Registration Unit through C3MS.

    The review will consider inclusion of a C3MS check of applicants at the commencement of assessments. In this case, if any important contextual information is discovered that is important to the assessment process, this would be provided to assessors to consider in context of wider assessment.

  • 107

    Include in the service agreement with all registered agencies the requirement that Families SA Carer Assessment and Registration Unit be notified of any person who begins an assessment process for carer registration (by Step by Step or another appropriate process) who is screened out, or, for whatever reason, subsequently withdraws from the assessment.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    New not for profit services agreements were executed between the Department for Child Protection (DCP) and non-government organisations commencing 1 July 2019. As part of broader contract reform, DCP will produce a report on a quarterly basis of the number of prospective carers that have commenced the carer assessment process but withdrew from the process before completing it during the quarterly reporting period.

    DCP has formalised this as a key performance indicator (KPI) in the internal Performance Measurement Specification – Tier 2 Key Performance Indicators document and is currently undergoing sector consultation. This KPI is part of a not for profit agreement and service specification across general family based care, specialist family based care and respite care.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 108

    Develop an approved panel of practitioners authorised to provide priority assessments of specific child only carers on behalf of registered agencies.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Completed

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts the intent of this recommendation, and accepts this recommendation in principle.

    On 1 July 2016, the then Office for Child Protection established a 'specific child only' assessment and carer support service.

    This service, which is provided by Anglicare SA began receiving referrals in October 2016 and is provided on a 24 hour, 7 day per week basis for all children.

    The decision not to use a panel of providers and to use a single agency instead means that carers assessed by Anglicare SA will receive ongoing support from that agency and capitalise on the existing relationships built between carer, assessor and support workers.

  • 109

    Create a project team to address the backlog in assessments of kinship carers and comprehensively review carers whose assessment is limited to an iREG assessment where the child has been living in the placement for more than 3 months.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection established a team to work on the backlog of kinship assessments, which continues to steadily reduce. Since October 2018, under the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (the Act), the focus of the Kinship Assessment Team has been on the completion of temporary placement assessments.

    In accordance with section 77 of the Act, all carers providing a temporary placement are fully assessed and approved within three months of placement, thereby preventing a future backlog from developing.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 110

    Cease reliance on medical self-assessment forms and response priority assessments for kinship carers.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Step by Step for kinship carers has been implemented. Competency A of this tool requires a GP assessment of carer health. Implementation of competency A addresses this recommendation.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation in principle.

    The review of kinship care assessment processes and tools discussed at recommendation 103 will consider how the Department for Child Protection obtains medical information about kinship carers, including a review of how to obtain information directly from a general practitioner. The department will work together with SA Health as appropriate to identify and implement potential solutions.

    The status and ongoing use of response priority assessments will also be considered as part of the review.

  • 111

    Enter an administrative arrangement with the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion to provide priority screening clearances for carers where a child has been placed pursuant to an iREG process.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    A Memorandum of Administrative Arrangement between the Department of Human Services and the Department for Child Protection regarding working with children checks for carers (foster, kinship and specific child only) has been executed.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 112

    Review initial orientation training for carers seeking approval to include training on recognising and managing trauma related behaviours, together with information as to availability of, and access to, therapeutic assistance if required.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    A working group has been established between the Department for Child Protection and non-government organisation (NGO) service providers to map and identify current core carer training provided by NGOs.

    A shared training calendar for foster, kinship and specific child only carers, including mandatory and post approval training, will be made available to providers to better access training for carers by June 2020.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 113

    Include agency staff, children in care and existing foster parents and kinship carers in the delivery of preliminary information and training for new and prospective approved carers.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has formed a Carer Recruitment and Retention Taskforce to improve practices and processes to grow and strengthen family based care.

    One of the key objectives is to improve consistency and access to carer training. DCP is developing a Child and Youth Engagement Strategy to ensure that the views and experiences of children and young people inform our policy, practice and training.

    There are currently a number of agencies that include carers, young people and DCP staff in the provision of information and training to carers. DCP is working with the sector to develop a standardised approach to the delivery of information to carers by previous carers, young people and DCP staff.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 114

    Develop a practice guide identifying the circumstances in which delegations pursuant to the amended section 80 of the Family and Community Services Act 1972 should be made.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    New practice guidance about issuing an instrument of delegation to an approved carer under section 76 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (the Act) was developed and implemented by the Department for Child Protection (DCP) to support the commencement of the remaining provisions (Phase 2) of the Act.

    This includes guidance about when DCP should consider delegating powers to an approved carer, what powers may be delegated, and how an instrument of delegation can be issued and revoked.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 115

    Develop a written document which sets out the role and duties of the supporter of carers (SOC), including their role if care concerns arise, and to whom various duties are owed. This document should be freely available to home-based carers.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Four Carer Relationship Officer positions have been established and recruited. They will be involved in carer support and the development of communication for carers.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The information currently publicly available about the role of supporters of carers and carer support agencies is limited and only located in larger documents such as the Standards of Alternative Care in South Australia. Specifically, section 3.2 of the standards is the most readily accessible information regarding the minimum expectations of carer support.

    To address this, a single written document will be developed that outlines the explicit roles and duties of supporters of carers. It will refer to both kinship and foster carers and be specifically targeted to carers as the primary audience. This document will also include what carers can do when concerns arise.

  • 116

    Fund Connecting Foster Carers, or an appropriate alternative agency, to deliver an advocacy service with paid staff to support carers to access and exercise their rights.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    A Department for Child Protection tender process to procure a carer advocacy service has been finalised and Connecting Foster Carers SA (CFC) will deliver the service from 1 July 2018.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    At present, Connecting Foster Carers SA (CFC) provides an advocacy service for foster carers and is funded by the Department for Child Protection. CFC provides a mechanism for DCP to consult with and to hear the voices of carers in South Australia. They also provide a way for DCP and carers to work together in the interests of enhancing foster care in South Australia.

    Due to increases in the number of carers accessing advocacy services through CFC, additional funding was provided in March 2016.

    However, before implementing recommendation 116, current arrangements for advocacy services for foster carers will be reviewed, including whether CFC is the agency best placed to provide this service. This process will include consultation and engagement with foster carers.

  • 117

    Fund the advocacy service to develop education material which clearly describes foster parents rights to contribute to decision making, and their rights of review regarding decisions which affect them.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Contracts have been executed between the Department for Child Protection and Connecting Foster and Kinship Carers SA, which include provision of educational material describing the rights of carers to contribute to decision making, and their rights of review regarding decisions which affect them.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 118

    Create an expert panel within the agency to consider the removal of children from long-term home-based placements.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Commencement of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 introduces a legislative requirement to include foster and kinship carers in decision making regarding children and young people in their care. This includes decisions relating to placement of a child or young person.

    The Act includes provision for a carer to seek an internal review by the Department for Child Protection, Chief Executive; including the removal of a child from their care. There is also provision for carers to seek an external review by the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) for a review of a decision following the completion of the internal review.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 119

    Review reimbursement rates to bring general foster rates with loadings for children with complex needs closer to rates payable to therapeutic carers.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has entered into new contracts with all family based care service providers which clearly define roles and responsibilities. These contracts commenced 1 July 2019.

    DCP carer payments are based on the child’s assessed support needs. All carers have access to training as part of their induction and access to ongoing training thereafter.

    DCP is working with foster care service providers to improve access to training opportunities and will establish a shared training calendar by the end of 2019.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 120

    Develop a specific package of training for general foster parents which can lead to payment of additional skills based loadings.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has entered into new contracts with all family based care service providers which clearly define roles and responsibilities. These contracts commenced 1 July 2019.

    DCP carer payments are based on the child’s assessed support needs. All carers have access to training as part of their induction and access to ongoing training thereafter.

    DCP is working with foster care service providers to improve access to training opportunities and will establish a shared training calendar by the end of 2019.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 121

    Support carers who are registered to general agencies to transfer to therapeutic agencies where the needs of children in their care require it.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    Supporting carers to transition from general to therapeutic agencies is now an established practice in the Department for Child Protection.

    The carer registration procedure developed in March 2016 includes a section, 'approved carers seeking to change supervising service provider'. It outlines the considerations and steps involved in transferring carers with a child in their care, from general foster care to therapeutic foster care.

    To ensure foster carers, the children in their care, and case workers are informed about this new process a suite of frequently asked questions documentation has been developed. This was finalised and distributed to staff, foster carers and foster care agencies in 2016.

  • 122

    Conduct a review of contractual conditions and payments to registered agencies to promote greater consistency of payments to agencies which support foster parents.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    From 1 July 2019, all family based care contracts have been re-contracted with the new not for profit funding agreement, including standard pricing and performance frameworks.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 123

    Update the Alternative Care Support Payments: Manual of Practice and make it available to all approved foster parents and kinship or relative carers.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Complete

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    Documentation regarding carer support payments was updated in December 2015. The Alternative Care Support Payments: Manual of Practice has been replaced with an internal staff procedure pack, and a carer handbook is available publicly.

    The carer handbook is available on the South Australian Government website and helps foster, kinship and other family based carers to better understand the financial support provided by the Department for Child Protection when caring for a child under guardianship of the minister.

  • 124

    Monitor developments in professional models of foster care in other states with a view to adopting or adapting a proven model.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Professional models of foster care continue to be monitored as part of informing the broader out-of-home care reform that the Department for Child Protection has commenced.

    This ongoing monitoring continues to inform a more evidence based and innovative approach to service development in the area of foster care.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 125

    Engage and support the Child and Family Welfare Association to develop more coordinated provision of training to carers.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019

    Child and Family Focus SA (CAFFSA), formerly Child and Family Welfare Association, was engaged to deliver sector and Department for Child Protection (DCP) training in Step by Step in March 2019, including a competency based carer training package, Shared Stories Shared Lives.

    The training has increased the capacity of funded non-government organisations by training assessors to provide Step by Step training for staff in their organisations.

    In addition, DCP is currently working with the sector and with CAFFSA to develop a training calendar for mandatory and post approval carer training.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 126

    Engage and support the Child and Family Welfare Association (CAFWA) to improve the coordination of respite provision to carers.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    In 2017, the Department for Child Protection (DCP) commissioned Child and Family Focus SA (CAFFSA), formerly Child and Family Welfare Association, to review the coordination of respite service provision with a view to implement new approaches.

    CAFFSA have delivered a report to DCP which will be used to inform strategic priorities and the reshaping of service system in line with DCP's In Care Strategy.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 127

    Develop a centralised system for receiving and resolving complaints from carers, including informal mediation or escalation to executive staff where appropriate. Timely written responses should be made to complaints.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    A Central Complaints Unit has been established. A Complaints Management Framework is under development.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The need to improve, better document and communicate avenues for complaints was a theme throughout 'The Life They Deserve'.

    The Department for Child Protection will review current internal complaints procedures and design a centralised system for receiving and resolving complaints, including the escalation of matters to executive staff where appropriate.

    The documentation of both internal and external complaints processes (recommendation 256) will be closely coordinated.

  • 128

    Phase out the use of commercial carers in any rotational care arrangements except in genuine short-term emergencies.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The proportion of children in family based care as a percentage of all out-of-home care in South Australia has increased from 83.1% at 30 June 2017 to 85.8% as at 30 June 2019, reducing the reliance on commercial care and other forms of non-family based care.

    This figure positions South Australia as coming more into line with the national average for the family based care placement rate. As at 30 June 2019, there were 103 children in commercial care, although the average number of placements during 2018-19 was 87, compared to 111 in 2017‑18.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 3

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 129

    Review service agreements with commercial agencies who supply emergency care staff to:

    1. require the commercial agency to develop job and person specification and selection criteria which must be approved by Families SA
    2. prohibit workers from undertaking shifts through more than one commercial care agency at a time when engaged by Families SA to look after children in care. This includes a prohibition on undertaking shifts for a commercial care agency at the same time as undertaking shifts for Families SA
    3. require commercial care workers to be registered and approved by Families SA before their employment begins
    4. require commercial agencies to report any information that reflects on the suitability of a care worker, to initiate tracking via the system outlined at recommendation 142.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The development of new contracting arrangements for commercial agencies who supply emergency care staff is in progress including:

    1. Requiring the commercial agency to develop job and person specification and selection criteria which must be approved by the Department for Child Protection (DCP), so all workers align with DCP OPS3 work specifications.
    2. Prohibiting workers from undertaking shifts through more than one commercial care agency at a time when engaged by DCP to look after children in care. This includes a prohibition on undertaking shifts for a commercial care agency at the same time as undertaking shifts for DCP.
    3. Requiring commercial care workers to be registered and approved by DCP before their employment begins – 1.2.12 of the specification identifies “specified personnel” as “in relation to a Work Statement, the Contractor Staff identified by the Contractor to perform Services under a particular Work Statement, and any further members of the Contractors Staff supplied by the Contractor, with the consent of the Customer, to perform services under the Work Statement”. This effectively requires the Agency to nominate the staff being used for any placement prior to the Work Statement being signed off by DCP.
    4. Requiring commercial agencies to report any information that reflects on the suitability of a care worker, to initiate tracking via the system outlined at recommendation 142. This is currently being discussed at whole of government level, with the Crown Solicitors Office’s (CSO) advice being sought, as to any amendment potentially required to the Terms and Conditions of the Funded Services Agreement to allow for this. Depending on the outcome of this CSO advice, variation may also be made to the Panel Agreements prior to execution. The draft Panel Deed issued with the tender contained the standard suitability of persons clause. However, much of this is now superseded by the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 130

    Provide Families SA staff who work with commercial carers with access to relevant portions of service agreements to clarify work expectations and specific conditions of engagement.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    A detailed procedure document has been implemented that clarifies roles and responsibilities when working with commercial care agencies.

    This resource is an important safety tool while the department works to reduce the number of children placed in commercial care. The tool contributes to safeguarding the wellbeing of children and young people in commercial care settings.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The government acknowledges the importance of ensuring departmental carers are well informed about the work expectations and specific conditions of engagements in place regarding commercial carers.

    A detailed FAQ document has been developed for Department for Child Protection staff about the role of commercial carers, which was distributed to staff in November 2016. This was subject to consultation throughout the department.

    This document includes relevant information from service agreements and presents it in an easy to read and accessible form.

    It is expected that the additional clarity of roles, oversight and involvement of residential care staff will contribute to the safeguarding of children in commercial care in combination with other recommendations.

  • 131

    Provide the residential care directorate with sole responsibility for engaging, supervising and supporting emergency care placements.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    All properties that were required to come under the governance of the Department for Child Protection’s (DCP) Residential Care Directorate transitioned on 2 July 2018.

    The DCP Intensive Placement Support (IPS) team has continued to provide placement support to emergency placements across metropolitan Adelaide and country.

    A framework for IPS visits has been established and a program of unannounced visits implemented. These initiatives and others will be integrated into the quality and safeguarding framework which will be included in the Manual of Practice.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 132

    Forthwith abandon single-handed shifts by commercial carers engaged through commercial agencies.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has a number of initiatives currently underway to support the safety and wellbeing of children through enhanced support and monitoring, these include:

    • Unannounced visits undertaken by Managers and the Mobile Night Team (Residential Care) and the Intensive Placement Support (IPS) team (Commercial Care).
    • Staff and young people are further supported by Senior Youth Workers, Supervisors and mobile response teams. Clustering of facilities where possible providing additional support.
    • The Intensive Placement Support (IPS) team has been expanded to two teams to ensure all children in Commercial Care have an allocated IPS worker. They will assist in the transition of children from Commercial Care into more sustainable placements matched to their needs.
    • Development of further quality assurance mechanisms to check the ‘approved carer’ status of contracted staff in Commercial Care environments.

    In addition to these, DCP is currently developing a new model of residential care that will deliver placement and support packages tailored to children and young people’s individual needs. This new model of care will progressively replace existing commercial care placements.

    These efforts, combined with the focus on increasing family based placements, are contributing to a reduction in the number of children in commercial care. As at 30 June 2019, there were 103 children in commercial care, with the average number of placements during 2018-19 being 87, compared to 111 in 2017-18.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 3

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 133

    Reform the manner in which the use of force against children in residential care facilities is recorded and tracked by:

    1. amending regulation 14 of the Family and Community Services Regulations to require any worker who participates in or witnesses an incident involving or leading to the use of force against a child to verify the accuracy of the written report of the incident or, in the alternative, where the accuracy of the written report is not verified, provide an independent written account with respect to the incident
    2. amending the pro forma of the report to clarify the requirements of regulation 14(3)
    3. requiring supervisors to reject any report that does not comply with regulation 14(3) in the absence of any adequate explanation for non-compliance. If a non-compliant report is accepted, the supervisor should specify the reason for acceptance in the absence of compliance
    4. regularly audit reports to ensure compliance with the regulations.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    133a - Completed – Family and Community Services Regulations 2009 sections 14(2) and 14(2a) were amended on 11 October 2018.

    133b - Completed - A reflection form and procedure has been developed and children must always be given the opportunity to complete a reflection form if they have been involved in an incident where physical intervention was used. All children are provided the opportunity to sign and date the form.

    If a child was not the person physically held, but was involved in or witnessed another type of incident and they request to complete a reflection form, it is their right to do so.

    As outlined in the incident report procedure, where physical intervention has been used, the ‘reflection form’ must be completed and attached to the Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS) incident report before the supervisor approves the report and submits it to the operations support team for final approval and closure.

    133c - Implementing - The DCP Residential Care Procedure: Incident reporting was updated and an eLearning training package written for supervisors and for all staff to ensure their understanding of this requirement and their responsibility. All staff will be enrolled in the training by September 2019.

    133d. - Planning – A DCP auditing function will be developed and formally implemented across all residential care facilities.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 134

    Amend section 56 of the Family and Community Services Act 1972 to extend the operation of the section to children in all facilities (including emergency care) established by the Minister, and develop a specific and identifiable pathway to enable a child to make a complaint to the chief executive pursuant to that section.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including section 110. This section establishes a pathway for complaints to be made to the Chief Executive of the Department for Child Protection regarding the care that a child or young person is receiving in a prescribed facility.

    The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 also came into operation on 22 October 2018. Regulation 33 provides that a complaint under section 110 must be investigated in the manner determined by the Chief Executive. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 135

    Require the chief executive to provide a quarterly report to the Guardian for Children and Young People (GCYP) and the minister with respect to the number of complaints received, and any recurring themes which emerge from those reports.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has established a Central Complaints Unit positioned within the Office of the Deputy Chief Executive. Operation of this Unit is underpinned by a Complaints Management Framework.

    In late 2018, DCP provided a report to the Guardian for Children and Young People (GCYP) on complaints received from children and young people with information provided to the GCYP and Minister as required. DCP is working towards a formalised reporting cadence.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 136

    Request the Guardian for Children and Young People 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.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Following appropriate consultation with children and young people and key stakeholders, final materials were designed and created to convey key messages that: children and young people have rights in relation to the use of physical intervention when living in residential care facilities, they have a right to have their views recorded in such circumstances and they have a right to complain to the Chief Executive of the Department for Child Protection (DCP) and to complain or seek help in relation to their rights using other pathways.

    These materials took the form of two versions of posters, booklets and videos for, respectively, children under 12 and young people over 12.

    A final report was provided to DCP in January 2019 including proposals for the implementation of an education campaign such as distribution of materials to residential facilities and providing for training and education for staff and residents to maximise the uptake and efficacy of these materials.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Guardian for Children and Young People

  • 137

    Legislate for the development of a community visitors’ scheme for children in all residential and emergency care facilities.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Chapter 9 in the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 provides for the Child and Young Person’s Visitor scheme. The Guardian for Children and Young People was appointed as the Child and Young Person’s Visitor, and this section of the Act is being implemented as part of Phase 1 implementation of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.

    The Office of the Guardian for Children and Young People is currently developing a pilot model for South Australia as informed by various legislation, current youth advocacy and visitor schemes, other jurisdictions’ models, and the evidence-base, in particular other Royal Commission reports and the 'Oakden Report'.

    The model will be trialled from mid-2018.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Guardian for Children and Young People

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The Child and Young People (Safety) Bill 2016 (SA) ('the Safety Bill') contains provisions that enable a community visitor's scheme to be established, to apply to children in all residential and emergency facilities.

    The Child Protection Systems Royal Commission report does not prescribe the type of community visitor's scheme that should be adopted: for example, the type of expertise that should be required of community visitors, and the basis upon which community visitors should be engaged.

    The government will continue to engage with key partners on the form a community visitor's scheme should take in South Australia.

  • 138

    Recruit child and youth support workers in accordance with the 2016 recruitment model, including a requirement that all applicants for those positions undergo individual psychological assessment.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    All external applicants for child and youth support worker roles are subject to a psychological assessment as per the 2016 recruitment model.

    The Department for Child Protection is currently exploring options to expand the model to all residential care staff, following consultation with staff and the Public Service Association.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The current child and youth support worker recruitment model is based on the model in operation at the start of 2016. To improve efficiency and the experience of applicants, minor changes have been made to the order in which phases of the recruitment process occur.

    As recommended, all child and youth support worker applicants who are engaged to work in the Department for Child Protection undergo an individual psychological assessment.

    The recruitment process will be subject to ongoing review to ensure that it recruits a workforce that keeps children safe and is psychologically equipped to work with children in care.

  • 139

    Require all new child and youth support workers to complete a minimum 6 month probationary period, to be followed by a rigorous performance review before approval for further employment.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Newly appointed child and youth workers are subject to a probationary period, with regular, structured reviews occurring throughout the probationary period and documented using a prescribed template.

    Processes are in place to ensure the probationary employee has completed mandatory training requirements, including Certificate IV requirements, and demonstrated satisfactory performance in the role prior to confirming employment beyond the probationary period.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 140

    Require all child and youth support workers to complete ongoing professional development and training, particularly in the following areas:

    1. the dynamics of abuse in institutional environments
    2. understanding children who are at risk from institutional environments
    3. the way in which children react and respond to abuse
    4. how to respond to children whose behaviour or statements may indicate the possibility of abuse
    5. the early years child development, and caring for infants and young children (for selected workers).
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) Learning and Development Strategy 2018-2021 has been finalised and guides the clinical practice development requirements and practice supervision of all staff.

    A number of residential care staff have attended specialised training that focuses on further embedding trauma informed approaches to practice in relation to elements of child and adolescent development.

    All DCP staff will be attending the newly released Safe Environments for Children and Young People training, which aims to create child safe organisations by developing the skills of staff to recognise signs and risks of institutional abuse. The training will also enhance staff skills in therapeutically responding to disclosures whilst meeting organisational requirements for reporting.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 141

    Review and clarify policies that guide the behaviour of workers, particularly in relation to:

    1. physical contact with children (to provide clear and unambiguous guidance)
    2. recording observations in observation logs
    3. reporting lines for information about the wellbeing of children.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has developed a Safeguarding Practice Guide and supporting tools for both residential care staff and case workers in regional offices.

    The practice guide and tools will be implemented as part of the DCP Manual of Practice, due for completion in December 2019.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 142

    Develop a clear process for workers in the Residential Care directorate which:

    1. obliges workers to report any concerning behaviours from other workers, including those behaviours that do not necessarily meet the requirements for a mandatory report
    2. obliges workers to report concerning behaviours from children in the absence of action by case management staff
    3. clarifies the availability of reporting pathways external to workers’ immediate line of supervision.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    A Department for Child Protection (DCP) Care Concern model is in its final stages of development.

    DCP Residential Care reporting procedures detail obligations of Residential Care staff to report concerning behaviours and suspected misconduct, and the available pathways to report such behaviours.

    The requirements of staff to report such behaviours are considered in all relevant DCP Residential Care governing documents.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 143

    Create a specific unit and database to receive and track information about the conduct of staff from:

    1. care concerns
    2. critical incident reports
    3. information from other staff
    4. complaints made by children.

    This process should apply to staff employed by the directorate and those engaged through commercial agencies. Staff should be permitted to provide information directly to that unit.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has commenced the process to procure an incident management system to enable DCP staff and services to record, manage, investigate and analyse incidents as well as consumer feedback

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 144

    Review the conduct of the specific staff identified in Volume 2, Case Study 5: Shannon McCoole and consider their ongoing suitability for employment in their role.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 8 August 2016.

    The Department for Education and Child Development has taken action to suspend the 3 employees specifically identified.

  • 145

    Develop a streamed model of residential care with the following elements:

    1. short-term assessment
    2. long-term care for children who are not suitable for home-based care
    3. care for children with high therapeutic needs
    4. built-in measures of outcomes that can be used to evaluate performance of the model on a regular basis.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has developed an In Care Strategy.

    One of the priority areas outlined in the strategy is transforming non-family based care, including the reorientation of emergency and residential care settings to be consistently therapeutic and responsive to children’s needs.

    As a first step in moving to a more therapeutic approach to residential care, DCP recently implemented a specialised residential care model for Aboriginal young people.

    As the next step, DCP is developing a new short-term model of residential care that will provide placement and support packages to better tailor services to individual children and young people’s needs.

    To improve performance measurement, as part of DCP’s Contract Reform Project, a Non-Government Performance Framework prescribing Tier 1 and Tier 2 performance indicators was implemented as of 1 July 2019. This framework enables consistent performance measurement of funded services across like services and includes residential care services.

    In addition to this, DCP has established an organisational performance program involving regular review and monitoring of service activity, flow and quality of services delivered across out-of-home care.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 146

    Identify and adopt a model of therapeutic care which is sufficiently flexible to be applied across all categories of residential care, and which promotes a consistency of approach and standard of care for all children.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has been implementing a number of foundation changes to support DCP to move to a therapeutic approach in residential care. As a first step, DCP has been focusing on developing workforce capability through the provision of training of staff in trauma informed and responsive practice. In addition, DCP has:

    • established the Disability Program
    • embedded DCP psychologists in Residential Care team discussions
    • established an Intensive Adolescent Support Service

    All of these are provide therapeutic support to children in residential care.

    DCP has developed an In Care Strategy, with a key priority of the strategy being transforming non‑family based care to re‑orientate the immediate response and residential care settings to be consistently therapeutic, culturally supportive and responsive to the needs of children and young people.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 147

    Replace operational services (OPS) 5 supervisors in residential care with allied health professional (AHP) or professional officer (PO) degree qualified staff, and recast the job and person specification to focus on the provision of staff with high level expert knowledge.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Principal Aboriginal Consultants and Allied Health Professionals have been employed to provide practice support and advice across the Residential Care Directorate.

    In addition, a specialist disability program and an Intensive Adolescent Service are providing additional allied health support and expert consultation.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 148

    Ensure that all youth workers in residential care have regular supervision as a means to promote their professional development and, where necessary, manage deficits in their performance.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Probation plans were successfully implemented in 2018 to support the professional development of new Department for Child Protection (DCP) staff.

    Residential Care supervisors and managers work in partnership with DCP’s Human Resources Directorate to support staff who are experiencing difficulties or demonstrate deficits in their practice.

    Supervision in Practice training was made available to DCP supervisors and senior child and youth workers through the Practice Development Unit to support senior staff to manage the supervision requirement of staff.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 149

    Apply the following standards across residential care:

    1. no child under 10 years to be housed in a residential care facility except where necessary to keep a sibling group together
    2. no child to be housed in a facility with more than 4 children, except where necessary to keep a sibling group together.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Work has commenced to reduce the number of children residing in the remaining 8-bed and 12-bed Department for Child Protection (DCP) residential care units to six. All other facilities provide care for between one and four children.

    DCP has developed an In Care Strategy, with a key priority of the strategy being transforming non‑family based care to re‑orientate the immediate response and residential care settings to be consistently therapeutic, culturally supportive and responsive to the needs of children and young people.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 3

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 150

    Recruit a sufficient complement of staff to:

    1. cease using commercial carers in residential care facilities
    2. develop a casual list to provide staff who are available on a flexible basis
    3. abandon single-handed shifts.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    150 a - A centralised rostering system is being piloted and will lead to the promotion of responsible practices for the deployment of Department for Child Protection (DCP) staff and reductions in reliance upon agency staffing.

    150 b - completed. A casual list of DCP staff has been in place for some time that outlines casual availability.

    150 c - As at 30 June 2019, 34 (50%) of DCP residential care houses were double-handed shifts. DCP has implemented a number of safeguarding initiatives to support the safety and wellbeing of young people in residential care, including:

    • enhanced support and monitoring through the implementation of an electronic observation logging system and regular unannounced facility visits
    • accessibility of child and youth workers with support from senior staff and mobile response teams.

    In addition, DCP has developed an In Care Strategy. A key focus of the strategy is reviewing the approach to residential care.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 151

    Abandon any plan to outsource any residential or emergency care service that is currently delivered by the agency.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has commenced development of a commissioning approach that will provide a plan for out-of-home care. Client needs will determine what services are required and which provider is best placed to deliver them.

    Key developments in 2018-19 to achieve a more optimised mix of services, based on client need include:

    • The implementation of an Aboriginal residential care service delivered by an Aboriginal controlled service.
    • Additional specialist disability placements delivered by specialist disability providers.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 3

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 152

    Develop a secure therapeutic care model, supported by legislation, to permit children to be detained in a secure therapeutic care facility but with an order of the Supreme Court required before a child is so detained. The model should include regular evaluation of outcomes for children.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) Lead Psychiatric Director has investigated the evidence in relation to secure care models interstate. A model to support security in care requires consideration alongside therapeutic service provision for children under the Guardianship of the Chief Executive. Further investigation is underway.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 3

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 153

    Amend the Children’s Protection Act 1993 to enable carers to apply to be appointed an 'other person guardian' where children who are subject to long term orders have been in their care for a minimum period of 2 years, or such lesser period as the court in its absolute discretion determines is appropriate in the circumstances.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including Chapter 7 Part 3 (sections 89-91).

    These sections enable carers to apply for guardianship of a child or young person who has been placed in their care for a period of two years (or such shorter period as the Chief Executive of the Department for Child Protection may determine).

    The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 also came into operation on 22 October 2018. Regulations 22 and 23 prescribe the information to be included in a long-term care plan required during the application process, and the persons or bodies required to provide information or views relevant to the application.

    The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 154

    Amend the Children’s Protection Act 1993 to provide that biological parents who oppose an application for the appointment of an 'other person guardian' bear the onus of proving to the court on the balance of probabilities why the order should not be made.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Section 59 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 had already come into operation on 19 December 2017. That section provides that a person who objects to an application for orders under the Act (other than the Crown or a child or young person to whom the proceedings relate - providing they are not subject to undue influence) bears the onus to prove that the order should not be made.

    The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018. Regulation 17B provides that section 59 does not apply to certain proceedings. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 155

    Establish an independent assessment panel to consider applications for other person guardianship, in accordance with the following procedures:

    1. the application to be made by a foster parent in person or by a caseworker or foster care support worker on behalf of the carer
    2. an initial review be carried out by the assessment panel to determine the utility of referring the application for a full assessment
    3. the application to be referred to the caseworker or such other appropriate person as is available to carry out the assessment and prepare the case plan in a timely manner
    4. when the assessment has been completed and case plan prepared, the application to be referred back to the assessment panel for final determination
    5. all decisions of the assessment panel are to be final.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Terms of Reference for the Other Person Guardianship Panel has been established. A group of appropriately qualified and experienced practitioners has been identified, trained and meet as required.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australia Government accepts this recommendation.

    In 2016, the Department of Education and Child Development designed and implemented an independent assessment panel for other person guardianship (OPG) as part of the Growing OPG project. The functions and purpose of this panel are consistent to those recommended. The growing OPG project team will review the panel, its membership requirements and the processes and procedures that guide its operation to ensure that parts A to E of this recommendation are delivered by the panel.

  • 156

    Promote the use of section 80 of the Family and Community Services Act 1972 for the delegation of decision making to support potential applications for other person guardianship.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Department for Child Protection (DCP) practice guidance about issuing an instrument of delegation to an approved carer under section 76 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (the Act) was developed and implemented to support the commencement of the remaining provisions (Phase 2) of the Act.

    This guidance recognises that approved carers have an invaluable and in-depth understanding of the needs of children and young people in their care and, at times, may seek to have greater decision-making independence. A delegation of powers to an approved carer can help to:

    • Reduce delay in decision-making
    • Increase a child or young person’s sense of belonging and connectedness to their carer family
    • Normalise a child or young person’s experience in out-of-home care.

    The use of section 76 of the Act as a tool to support carers to take on greater decision making has been promoted on public facing information on the DCP website and in information brochures to carers.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 157

    Consider the question of adoption where that is in the best interests of the child and an other person guardianship order would not be appropriate.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 highlights permanency as an essential principle, prioritising the placement of a child or young person with a person with who they have an existing relationship as the preferred option in the placement hierarchy.

    Further to this, the Act also enshrines the Aboriginal Placement Principle. The Department for Child Protection is currently reviewing the adoption practice guidance to ensure that it is a permanency option that is considered in accordance with the placement hierarchy prescribed in the Act.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 3

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 158

    Amend the Children’s Protection Act 1993 to require the minister to provide or arrange assistance to care leavers aged between 18 and 25 years. Assistance should specifically include:

    • the provision of information about services and resources
    • financial and other support to obtain housing, education, training and employment
    • access to legal advice and health care.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Section 112 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 had already come into operation on 26 February 2018. This section creates a framework for the Minister to provide assistance to an eligible care leaver (a person who is more than 16 and younger than 26 years of age, who had been under relevant care for the prescribed time).

    It is noted that no regulations have been made in relation to the relevant provisions of the Act. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 159

    Expand financial counselling services to manage access to post-care financial support from the agency provided in accordance with recommendation 158.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    State Government financial wellbeing programs were consolidated under the Department of Human Services’ State-wide Financial Counselling program as of 1 July 2019. DCP clients requiring financial counselling are able to access services through this program.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 160

    Amend the Children’s Protection Act 1993 to permit care leavers to access, free of charge, original and copy documents that relate to them from the agency, approved carers, and any non-government agencies contracted to provide care to them.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Section 153 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 had already come into operation on 26 February 2018. This section permits eligible applicants to be provided with documents and information relating to a prescribed person (a person over 18 years of age who, while they were a child or young person, had been provided with out-of-home care or equivalent).

    As to this recommendation, it is noted that no regulations have been made in relation to the relevant provisions of the Act. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 161

    Continue to make modified payments to foster and kinship carers where the care leaver is engaged in tertiary education, apprenticeship, or any post-high school training, and where their best interests would be served by remaining in foster or kinship care until the qualification is completed.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    This payment system has been implemented and carers now receive a modified payment where the young person remains in their care and is completing full time post-secondary education or training.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    Under the current Families SA Education Grant scheme, payments are made to foster and kinship carers to help with the costs of preschool and school fees and other related costs. The current scheme also provides grants to carers of young people over 18 years of age where they are enrolled in full-time secondary education and still have an allocated Families SA case file.

    The South Australian Government accepts the Royal Commission’s findings that we need to do more to support young people in the child protection system to go on to further education and to achieve their full potential.

    As a first step, the government will invest to support recommendation 161, and make modified payments to foster and kinship carers where the care leaver is engaged in tertiary education, apprenticeship, or any post-high school training, and where their best interests would be served by remaining in foster or kinship care until the qualification is completed.

    The Department for Child Protection will further consider how children under the guardianship of the minister who are not in home-based care arrangements can also be supported to engage in post-school education.

  • 162

    Review the Rapid Response policy to identify opportunities to expand priority services to care leavers up to the age of 25.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Rapid Response strategic policy has been redrafted to make it a more accessible resource for Department for Child Protection staff, young people and carers that focuses on the key elements of what the program offers, and who is eligible including where there are services for care leavers.

    Foster and kinship care payments are now available for carers of young people up to the age of 21 years. Funding to Relationship Australia continues for post-care services including counselling, case management and mentoring.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 163

    Prepare a new service model and work instruction for leaving care that incorporates the relevant elements of the National Approach, including specific reference to supporting care leavers who want to access further education and training.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) is applying a systems approach to leaving care to join‑up all related recommendations, programs and initiatives with a view to enhancing the experience of young people in care transitioning to adulthood.

    In 2018, DCP extended payments to carers of young people up to 21 years of age and implemented a pilot program for vulnerable care leavers in the upper Spencer Gulf region to provide additional support for young people as they enter adulthood.

    With the implementation of the Children and Young Person (Safety) Act 2017, DCP published a series of practice guides relating to transition from care.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 164

    Redeploy transition-from-care caseworkers to provide an add-on service for young people planning their move to independence.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection is currently working on a systems approach to leaving care to bring together all related recommendations, programs and resources with a view to enhancing transitions to adulthood.

    Transition from care workers are an important resource to support a systematic approach to successful transitions from care.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 165

    Reach an administrative arrangement with the CREATE Foundation to provide it with the names and contact details of children entering care and/or their carers (as appropriate).

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    An Information Sharing Agreement has been signed by CREATE and the Department for Child Protection to exchange the names and contact details of children entering care and/or their carers.

    It is anticipated that the first set of data with children’s name and contact details will be provided to CREATE before the end of 2017.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 12 August 2016.

    The CREATE Foundation is the national peak consumer body representing children and young people with out-of-home-care experiences.

    The Department for Child Protection will work with CREATE to reach an administrative arrangement in order to implement recommendation 165.

    This will allow for all young people to be signed up to CREATE’s clubCREATE service as a matter of course when entering care. clubCREATE connects children and young people with experiences of care and delivers events and empowerment programs to encourage new friendships and skills.

    The administrative arrangement will provide for the responsible sharing of information and privacy provisions, including provisions for children to opt out should they choose.

  • 166

    Fund the development of a smartphone application that provides young people with up-to-date information about services and entitlements when leaving care.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 udpate

    Sortli, which is short for ‘sort out your life,’ is a free mobile app designed to make information accessible to empower all young people transitioning to adulthood and independence, and is now available for South Australians to use on iPhone, Android or Microsoft platforms.

    It was officially launched during September 2018 Child Protection Week and has been promoted to carers and young people. Sortli contains information regarding relationships, finding a place to live, managing your health and finances, gaining education, looking for a job, legal matters and general living skills.

    The CREATE Foundation are contracted to regularly update Sortli to ensure the information remains valid, and report annually on the apps use.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 167

    Review contractual conditions governing service specifications for non-government independent living programs to develop greater flexibility in the age of admission and the age of discharge from programs.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The review of contractual conditions is currently in progress.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 168

    Fund Housing SA to develop innovative housing models, particularly those that use supported share housing where appropriate for care leavers.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The South Australian Housing Authority (SAHA) is investigating two options to support care leavers through innovative housing models.

    One option considers the use of social impact bonds, and is a project currently undertaken by the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF).

    SAHA is also progressing its Housing, Homelessness and Support Strategy, and is another avenue that could assist in meeting this recommendation.

    Due to significant data restrictions in the SAHA Mainframe case management system, a business case with DTF and the Office for Data Analytics was not progressed.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: South Australian Housing Authority

  • 169

    Fund a pilot program of intensive case management assistance for vulnerable care leavers, to be delivered by an agency with established relationships with vulnerable children in care.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Transition to Adult Life Intensive (TALI) pilot is an intensive case management program supporting young people aged 15-25 who are leaving, or have left, care to develop the practical and social skills for independent living.

    TALI is being piloted in the Upper Spencer Gulf region by two non-government organisations – Uniting Country SA and Centacare.

    The TALI pilot commenced in August 2018 and will end in June 2020. A distinctive element of TALI is the presence of peer mentors working alongside the young people referred to the programme, the impact of which will be independently evaluated by early 2020.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 170

    Conduct a review of the needs of the population currently accessing Relationships Australia’s services to identify the specific needs of service users.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    This review has been completed and affirmed the need for increased post-care services to be offered in accordance with recommendation 171.

    The review also highlighted the gaps in services for Aboriginal care leavers and care leavers in regional areas. Work to address service gaps is occurring as part of wider reform and delivery of recommendation 171.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The Department for Child Protection currently funds Relationships Australia to deliver post-care services to 2017 to 2018. These services are available to anyone over the age of 18 who has spent 6 months or more in out-of-home care in South Australia.

    The department will undertake a review of Relationships Australia’s services to identify the needs of the broad range of South Australian’s who take up these services. The review will include a data analysis piece, using data from both the C3MS system and Relationships Australia’s database.

  • 171

    Make a significant injection of funds into post-care services currently provided by Relationships Australia, to enable these to be delivered more flexibly and more assertively.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Department for Child Protection has provided additional funding to Relationships Australia South Australia to deliver post-care services to children and young people to help achieve their goals through the delivery of information and planning services, case management, integrated specialist support, training, financial support and counselling.

    The government has also recently announced its intention to make foster and kinship care payments available for young people up to the age of 21 years. Work has commenced to support delivery of this commitment.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The government accepts this recommendation and will provide further funding to Relationships Australia's post-care services.

  • 172

    Provide specialist training and documented guidance to staff within the agency, as well as home-based carers and carers engaged through commercial agencies, as to their roles and responsibilities with respect to identifying and reporting conduct that may amount to a care concern, and the processes that follow such a report.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection’s current Care Concern Reform Project will deliver:

    • A best practice, child centred and culturally responsive model for the management of care concerns.
    • A suite of authority documents including processes and procedures to guide and inform the management of care concerns.
    • Improved referral pathways and stakeholder engagement in order to achieve timely management and resolution of care concerns.
    • Standards, key performance indicators and other metrics to inform and monitor the management of care concerns.
    • Monitoring and evaluation processes providing capacity to analyse trends and identify system wide issues and training needs.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 173

    Consider developing technology to provide children in care with a user-friendly mechanism to engage with caseworkers in the care team and other responsible adults about their experiences and concerns.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The implementation of Viewpoint has been completed across all Department for Child Protection (DCP) offices to ensure children and young people have an official method for sharing their experiences and concerns with case workers.

    Training of all relevant DCP staff has been completed. In addition to this, a review of software applications is being undertaken to evaluate alternative options for children to communicate their concerns with other responsible adults.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 174

    Review and implement the Structured Decision Making® care concern screening criteria tool for use by Call Centre practitioners.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Not accepted

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government does not accept this recommendation.

    In 2015, the Structured Decision Making® (SDM) Tool was trialled for the use of assessing care concerns. A Department for Education and Child Development evaluation of the tool for this purpose found that it was not appropriate and resulted in a number of inaccurate assessments.

    Alterations to the tool were considered, but the review found that it was not necessarily specific characteristics of the SDM tool, but the use of an actuarial assessment tool in general that caused some inaccurate assessments.

    Practitioners specifically trained in care concern assessment make informed and appropriate assessments of care concerns based on a number of contextual factors about carers, care environments and children’s history in care. These factors may not be considered by intake workers in the Call Centre when recording a notification from a member of the public and processing information through the use of a tool. A specialised assessment by trained practitioners is therefore supported over the use of a single tool in the Call Centre.

    Instead of using the SDM or another tool, implementation of recommendation 172 and the development of robust procedures and the delivery of training to staff are expected to result in an improved care concern assessment process.

  • 175

    Establish a panel in the agency to determine the appropriate response pathway with respect to a care concern that is not diverted by the Call Centre to the field, but noting that all allegations that raise a suspicion of sexual abuse (except those which are historical in nature or have otherwise been addressed) must be investigated by the investigations unit.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Care Concern Assessment and Management Panel meeting terms of reference have been revised to ensure a more integrated approach to the management of care concerns.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    In March 2016 the Care Concerns Assessment and Management Panel (CCAMP) was established.

    The CCAMP is chaired by executive staff in the Department for Child Protection and includes external independent representation from the Child and Family Welfare Association and Incident Management division in the Department for Education and Child Development. The panel utilises this diverse range of knowledge and experience to make care concern determinations and identify ongoing, systemic issues. The panel and improvements to other interrelated systems will ensure that care concerns will receive more appropriate responses.

    The CCAMP terms of reference will be revised to ensure the panel aligns with the requirements in this recommendation. This work will be undertaken a part of the Care Concern Management reform project discussed in the response to recommendation 172.

  • 176

    Establish in the agency an investigations unit independent of the operations of the agency to investigate matters referred to it by the panel, and staff that unit with a multidisciplinary team of investigators with expertise in child protection and law enforcement, and provide training and guidelines as to the scope of their roles.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Investigations Unit within the Department for Child Protection's Human Resources Directorate is fully operational, and has responsibility for the investigation of serious care concerns referred by the Care Concern Assessment Panel.

    The investigation team comprises staff with expertise in child protection, social work and law enforcement. Senior investigators have undergone specialist investigative interviewing training.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 177

    Ensure that all care concern notifications are investigated in a timely manner:

    1. Investigations should commence within 48 hours of the receipt of a notification.
    2. In the absence of ongoing criminal proceedings or special reasons, investigations should be completed within 6 weeks from receipt of the notification.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) is developing a transition plan to achieve the benchmarks set out in the recommendation.

    Some notable improvements in timeframes have been made in relation to serious care concerns referred to the Investigations Team within the Human Resources Directorate.

    Further improvements will be guided by the outcomes of the Care Concern Reform Project being led by the Quality and Practice Directorate.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 178

    Require a strategy meeting to be held at the start of all investigations undertaken by the investigations unit.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Department for Child Protection is currently finalising a Care Concern Management Model and related procedures to guide practice. In the interim, and in any event, strategy discussions are taking place routinely at the start of serious care concern investigations.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The requirement to hold a strategy meeting before all investigations by the proposed investigations unit is supported.

    For strategy meetings to be effective, a number of external partners will need to be involved in meetings, depending on the nature of the care concern. Therefore, consultation will be held with SA Police, non-government organisations, SA Health and other external agencies to ensure their views and requirements are considered in the development of a procedure to support strategy meetings. Strategy meetings for care concerns will be modelled on and align with strategy discussions as documented in the Interagency Code of Practice.

    Additional resources have been committed to investigating care concerns in the Department for Child Protection. Deployment of investigators will assist in ensuring strategy meetings are held at the start of all investigations undertaken by the investigations unit.

    A care concern strategy meeting procedure will be developed as part of the wider program to develop the new care concern management system based on recommendations from 'The Life They Deserve'.

  • 179

    Define the standards against which deficiencies in the care provided to a child in care should be assessed.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Care standards for children and young people in South Australia are outlined in the National Standards for Out of Home Care 2008-2020, and the Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care.

    The standards are published on the intranet for the Department for Child Protection (DCP) staff reference. Standards are reflected in relevant internal and external governing documents and will be considered in all service design activities undertaken by DCP.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 180

    Clarify the powers available to investigators, including putting in place appropriate delegations and authorities pursuant to sections 45 and 47 of the Family and Community Services Act 1972 and section 19 of the Children’s Protection Act 1993.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including Chapter 11, Part 2 (sections 147-150). These sections establish the role, powers and functions of child protection officers.

    The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 also came into operation on 22 October 2018. Regulation 38 prescribes further detail about the powers to be exercised by child protection officers.

    The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 181

    Ensure that staff are available in the investigations unit who are trained in forensic interviewing of children when this service is required.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Current staff, both within the current Care Concern Management Unit and Investigations Unit, are being trained through the Deakin University Investigative Interviewing course.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The majority of forensic interviews of children are conducted by SAPOL and SA Health. On occasion it is necessary for investigating staff from the Care Concern Investigation Unit (CCIU) to conduct forensic interviews.

    In 2015, as a result of changes to the Statutes Amendment (Vulnerable Witnesses) Act 2015, Care Concern Investigation staff were provided with an opportunity to undertake once-off training in forensic interviewing provided by Deakin University and funded by the Attorney-General’s Department under the Disability Justice Plan.

    This training is of a high quality, suitable for staff of the Care Concern Investigation Unit, and will be accessed accordingly.

  • 182

    Amend section 104 of the Summary Procedure Act 1921 to permit the filing in committal proceedings of a transcript of a recorded interview with a child under the age of 14 years that has been verified by a person in attendance at the interview, other than an investigating officer as defined in the Act.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Summary Procedure (Indictable Offences) Amendment Act 2017 was passed by Parliament on 30 May 2017 and came into force on 5 March 2018.

    This recommendation is implemented in clause 111 of the Act.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 30 August 2016.

    Recommendation 182 will be implemented by amending section 104 of the Summary Procedure Act 1921 (SA). The Summary Procedure (Indictable Offences) Amendment Bill 2016 (SA) ('the Bill') contains a provision which implements the recommendation. The draft Bill was publicly available for consultation on the YourSAy website until 18 October 2016, and was introduced into Parliament on 16 November 2016.

    The Bill contains a provision which will allow a committal brief to contain a witness statement from a child of or under the age of 14 years which “is in the form of an audio visual record or audio record of an interview with the witness that is accompanied by a written transcript verified by an investigating officer or person of a prescribed class who was present at the interview as a complete record of the interview”.

  • 183

    Require investigators to record an outcome as ‘undetermined’ in any case in which there is insufficient evidence to make a definitive finding.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Changes have been specified to enable the recording of ‘Undetermined’ in C3MS for Care Concerns where there is insufficient evidence to make a definitive finding. Uploading of the changes impact on the DCSI Continuous Monitoring platform (screening assessments) and will come into effect in December 2017.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    Subject to consultation with other users of C3MS, as of June 2017, all cases in which there is insufficient evidence to make a definitive finding will now have an outcome of 'undetermined' recorded in C3MS.

  • 184

    Establish a response unit within the directorate responsible for quality and practice to:

    1. provide advice to front-line staff about care concerns
    2. provide a report to the Chief Executive of the agency outlining responses and intended actions to issues identified in an investigation report. This should be provided within 4 weeks of the response unit receiving the investigation report
    3. undertake a monitoring role in respect of all care concern notifications
    4. analyse trends in care concern data to proactively address systems issues and inform the management of staff and carers
    5. make recommendations to the Chief Executive of the agency as to proposed improvements in response to identified systems issues.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection’s current Care Concern Reform Project, currently underway, will deliver:

    • A best practice, child centred and culturally responsive model for the management of care concerns.
    • A suite of authority documents including processes and procedures to guide and inform the management of care concerns.
    • Improved referral pathways and stakeholder engagement in order to achieve timely management and resolution of care concerns.
    • Standards, key performance indicators and other metrics to inform and monitor the management of care concerns.
    • Monitoring and evaluation processes providing capacity to analyse trends and to identify system wide issues and training needs.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 185

    Establish a liaison function between the response unit and SAPOL, particularly with respect to identification of aspects of a care concern investigation that may be commenced by the agency while criminal proceedings are pending.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The liaison between the Department for Child Protection (DCP) and South Australia Police, including a clear process for sharing information has been established.

    Final documentation of these processes is subject to the outcomes of the Care Concern Reform Project being led by the Quality and Practice Directorate.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 186

    Require the agency to provide quarterly data to the minister and the Guardian for Children and Young People about care concerns, including:

    1. the number of care concern notifications received and their response pathway
    2. how many care concern investigations have been completed
    3. whether investigation timeframes have been met and the reasons for timeframes not being met
    4. the outcomes of investigations
    5. how identified systems issues are being addressed.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Quarterly meetings are occurring with the Guardian for Children and Young People to report on current care concerns. Annual data is provided to the Guardian in September of each year.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The Department for Child Protection currently report to the minister and the Guardian for Children and Young People on:

    1. the number of care concern notifications received and their response pathway
    2. how many care concern investigations have been completed
    3. whether investigation timeframes have been met and the reasons for timeframes not being met
    4. the outcomes of investigations.

    Including information about e) how identified systems issues are being addressed will depend on the implementation of the Care Concern Response Unit recommended in recommendation 184.

    The Guardian for Children and Young People will be consulted regarding the design of reports and frequency of provision.

  • 187

    Develop an Aboriginal recruitment and retention strategy in the agency as part of a broader workforce strategy.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection released the Aboriginal Employment (Recruitment and Retention) Strategy 2019-2022 on 22 August 2019.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 188

    Review procedures to streamline the sources of internal cultural advice to the agency.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection’s (DCP) Aboriginal Practice Directorate (APD) continued to provide internal cultural advice, including promoting an updated, more streamlined Aboriginal Impact Statement (AIS) process within the Policy Governance Framework to strengthen all DCP policies, practices, programs, contracts, reforms and initiatives.

    An Aboriginal Practice Lead Practitioner position was established in May 2019. The Aboriginal Practice Lead and the Lead Practitioner positions work closely in partnership designing the practice approach and strategically aligning clinical governance frameworks.

    APD continued the provision of group supervision to the Principal Aboriginal Consultants (PACs). A 2-day workshop for PACs was held in December 2018, focusing on PAC roles and functions under key sections of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 and strategic service delivery to regions they are responsible for.

    The PACs developed a high-level, state-wide Work Plan 2019 - 2020, structured using the five elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (ATSICPP) and focused on the key areas of Aboriginal practice. These include what cultural consultation looks like in the directorates that they cover, and working on key areas of the legislation relating to Aboriginal children and young people and translating this into Aboriginal practice.

    The PACs are responsible for regional areas in providing cultural quality assurance practices for Aboriginal children and young people in care. The PACs also provide cultural responsive services such as working with managers and their leadership teams.

    The DCP Aboriginal Action Plan 2019-20 was launched in NAIDOC Week 2019. Following this, the DCP Aboriginal Recruitment and Retention Strategy and the DCP Reconciliation Action Plan were launched on 22 August 2019.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 189

    Review practice guidance, funding arrangements and the range of declared agencies to ensure that a recognised Aboriginal agency is consulted on all placement decisions involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, in accordance with the provisions of section 5 of the Children’s Protection Act 1993.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (the Act) provides the legislative framework for placement decisions about children and young people in out of home care.

    It provides that when making decisions about the placement of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child or young person, the Department for Child Protection (DCP) must apply the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle and the objects that are set out in section 12 of the Act. DCP must also, where reasonably practicable, consult with, and have regard to any submissions of, a recognised Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation (recognised organisation).

    New practice guidance has been developed and implemented about the requirements to consult with a recognised organisation in accordance with the requirements of the Act.

    At the time of the commencement of these provisions in February 2018, one organisation was gazetted to ensure advice could be sought on placement decisions under the Act.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 190

    Establish a dedicated family scoping unit.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Four positions have been created and Aboriginal staff have been recruited to form the Family Scoping and Engagement Team. Procedures have been developed and the Family Scoping and Engagement Team commenced work in September 2017.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    In accordance with the Royal Commission’s findings, a dedicated scoping unit will be established within the Department for Child Protection to research family connections and prepare genograms.

    Funding for an additional 4 FTEs has been provided through this response to establish the team.

    Investing in a  dedicated scoping unit so that potential kinship placements for children can be sourced quickly is critical in making sure children are in stable, supportive placements when they cannot live safely with their parents, and to stem demand for residential care and commercial care.

    The unit should develop strong relationships with Aboriginal communities and organisations, including a strong partnership with Nunkuwarrin Yunti’s Link-Up service to ensure that best practice services are built upon, and not duplicated.

    It is expected that the scoping unit will be operational in 2017, pending recruitment of staff.

    Once established, consideration will be given to offering regular training to practitioners and offering short rotational placements to agency practitioners, as suggested by the Royal Commission.

  • 191

    Provide all practitioners in the child protection system with training, support and clinical supervision to give them the knowledge, skills and techniques to work effectively with Aboriginal children and families, including, where appropriate, the specific skills required to work effectively in remote Aboriginal communities.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has mandated the 'Aboriginal Cultural Footprint program' for all staff. This training is a step towards embedding cultural responsive practices when engaging Aboriginal families and case managing Aboriginal children and young people in care.

    This training is a commitment under the Aboriginal Action Plan 2019-20, which was launched in NAIDOC Week 2019. The DCP Aboriginal Practice Directorate (APD) has also implemented practice tools such as the Aboriginal Cultural Identity Support Tool (ACIST) and the Winangay carer assessment too.

    The May 2019 appointment of an Aboriginal Practice Lead Practitioner in APD as well as establishing Principal Aboriginal Consultants cultural group supervision has increased support for staff working in and with remote Aboriginal communities.

    The Aboriginal Practice Lead and the Lead Practitioner positions work closely in partnership using the practice approach framework.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 192

    Use the proposed Early Intervention Research Directorate to identify evidence-based service models for early intervention that meet the needs of Aboriginal children and families.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD) is partnering with an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation to develop and pilot a new model of intensive support for Aboriginal families.

    The pilot program will be delivered in the western suburbs of Adelaide and the outcomes will inform future investment in intensive programs.

    EIRD has also contracted the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) to develop a cultural competency training program specifically tailored to the South Australian context.

    The new program will build the capability of the workforce to engage and support Aboriginal families.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

  • 193

    Outsource the services currently provided by Kanggarendi to an appropriately qualified and experienced non-government organisation.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Consideration of future service delivery approaches for the Kanggarendi service is being explored.

    The Department for Child Protection is developing an options paper that will inform a new model of service delivery to meet the needs for Aboriginal children and families going forward.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 3

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 194

    Commission not-for-profit agencies to develop service models that can respond to higher risk Aboriginal families with multiple, complex needs.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department of Human Service has commenced a series of co-design workshops to design a new system of child and family supports.

    The co-design process has involved working with front line workers, such as allied health and social work professionals as well as service users to look at how a connected system can be established that delivers the right service in a timely way.

    A key area being explored through the co-design process is working with Aboriginal families and children.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

  • 195

    Ensure that local assessments of needs (LANs) specifically consider the needs of Aboriginal children and families and consult with local Aboriginal people and service providers.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Local assessments of needs (LANs) have been developed and distributed to all CFARN regions and are being used as planning and implementation tools within the Children's Centres, one of the backbone agencies for CFARNs, by the Community Development Coordinators.

    One of the expected outcomes from utilising data within the LANs is to determine strategies to improving services and programs for Aboriginal families and communities within CFARN regions.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation in principle.

    Through its response to the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission the South Australian Government will pilot 3 child and family assessment and referral networks (CFARNs) to develop the new service model and to better understand its interaction with the existing child protection system and services (recommendation 51).

    The Royal Commission has recommended that CFARNs develop the local assessments of needs referred to in this recommendation.

    The CFARN pilots will include the development of local assessment of needs for the local communities. This assessment will specifically consider the needs of Aboriginal children and families and consult with the local Aboriginal community and service providers.

    It is anticipated that the CFARN pilots will commence by July 2017

    The CFARN pilots will be evaluated after 12 months to determine whether the initiative should be scaled up and rolled out state-wide.

  • 196

    Place local Aboriginal support services within child and family assessment and referral networks to promote service coordination and act as a visible point of entry.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Local Aboriginal Support Services are a key member within the child and family assessment and referral networks.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

  • 197

    Adopt a culturally appropriate assessment tool, such as Winangay, for the assessment of foster parents and kinship carers in the Aboriginal community, initially in remote communities, and more widely if the tool proves promising.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has executed a license agreement in October 2017 to use Winangay. Implementation of Winangay was trialled in the DCP Far North Far West region in 2018.

    Since the licence agreement was entered into, over 200 DCP staff have been trained in the temporary placement component of Winangay, including a number of staff who are now certified to provide training to other staff.

    Winangay is currently in the process of being rolled out more broadly across the State.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 198

    Require the agency to report to the minister and the Guardian for Children and Young People quarterly on service criteria 3.1.4.1, 3.1.4.4 and 3.1.4.6, which form part of standard 3.1.4 of the Standards of Alternative Care in South Australia.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Dependant on the outcome of the Department for Child Protection (DCP) case plan review, changes may be required to the Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS) to enable reporting against service criteria 3.1.4.1.

    These changes will be assessed and prioritised in light of the outcome of the C3MS review (Recommendation 20).

    A number of Viewpoint questions, including technology used to collect children’s feedback, reflect several elements in service criteria 3.1.4.6.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 199

    Consult with each remote Aboriginal community about the implementation of the recommendations following this report, as part of ongoing engagement with communities about the strategic direction of services to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of their children.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) met with members of the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands Executive Board in late 2017 and early 2018 and provided an overview of progress on the breadth of reform initiatives.

    The Lands-Based Workers (LBW) across APY and the far west coast in conjunction with DCP staff are responsible for ongoing engagement with local communities to inform strategic and operational service improvement initiatives designed to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people.

    The DCP Aboriginal Practice Directorate has contributed to the sustainability of the LBW positions. The two Principal Aboriginal Consultants (PAC) continue their support for the fly-in fly-out teams in the APY Lands and the far west coast through monthly visits.

    The Director and PAC for Far North Far West meet with the APY Executive Board in recognition of sustaining partnerships and service delivery to the APY Lands, and maintaining their commitment to meeting the needs of the Aboriginal children and young people in the Lands.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 200

    Offer stable employment arrangements with competitive, ongoing retention allowances to attract and recruit 6 permanent Lands-based workers to support the agency’s fly-in fly-out teams.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    A recruitment process has been completed for 6 APY Lands’ based workers to support Departmental fly-in fly-out staff.

    All positions have been filled.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 12 August 2016.

    Six permanent Lands-based positions have been advertised, with the selection process due to be finalised at the end of October 2016.

    Appropriate relocation, accommodation, attraction and retention allowances are to be negotiated with the successful candidates. The roles were advertised on an ongoing basis in order to provide stability of employment to the successful applicants.

  • 201

    Actively pursue joint training opportunities for agencies in remote communities and require operational managers from agencies to meet regularly to identify areas for collaboration and to resolve issues of concern.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    There has been significant improvement in agency collaboration in remote communities.

    Improvements have included clarification of roles and responsibilities of the Interagency Code of Practice and its implementation on the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, increased interagency working between the Department for Child Protection (DCP) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services through joint strategy discussions and complex case reviews and the establishment of multi-agency meetings to share information and identify opportunities for shared training.

    A workplace learning calendar has also been established for DCP staff with invitations open to partner agencies for topics of relevance.

    Ten monthly workshops have been established for 2019. These commenced 2 February 2019 and to date, 6 workshops have been delivered with the next one scheduled for 6 August 2019.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 202

    Ensure that at least one principal Aboriginal consultant has experience and expertise in remote Aboriginal communities, including in the APY Lands.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Recruitment is underway for two additional Principal Aboriginal Consultants. One Principal Aboriginal Consultant positions has been allocated to the Far North Far West and will be responsible for providing advice and expertise when working with Aboriginal communities.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    Principal Aboriginal Consultant (PAC) roles are senior practice roles that provide strategic guidance to help the department respond more effectively to Aboriginal children and families, including strategies to maintain the cultural identity of children in care and training for staff in how to work more effectively with Aboriginal families.

    'The Life They Deserve' report found more is to be done to ensure departmental staff in remote communities have access to PACs, and that at least one PAC has adequate experience and expertise in remote Aboriginal communities so that they can provide the support these staff need.

    There are currently two PACs dedicated to the Country Directorate, one of which has extensive experience in working with remote communities, including in the APY Lands.

    The human resources unit, DCP will be tasked with implementing this recommendation in future recruitment processes. Consideration will be given to supporting the existing PACs to develop knowledge, experience and expertise pertinent to these remote communities or to recruiting additional PACs with these skills.

  • 203

    Identify opportunities to develop strength in the interpreter service available in remote communities, and ensure that the agency’s practitioners use interpreters where possible. Consider the viability of interpreters accompanying the agency’s fly-in fly-out teams.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has adopted internal processes to use interpreters across the full range of child protection services in remote communities where English is not the caregivers’ or extended family member’s first language.

    The Aboriginal Interpreter Service (Northern Territory based) is utilised both via the phone or, more frequently, on a face-to-face basis and is in line with the South Australian Aboriginal Languages Interpreters and Translators Policy and Guide.

    DCP’s Lands Based Workers are also used as interpreters and this is considered to be a positive outcome since it allows them to engage with their designated communities, build trust between the community and DCP and enables families to share their information more freely.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 204

    Ensure that the agency’s practitioners monitor children cared for in accordance with family care meeting agreements to ensure the safety of the child.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (the Act) provides for Family Group Conferences (FGC) to be convened by the Chief Executive or the Youth Court if there is suspicion that a child or young person is at risk and care arrangements should be made by means of a FGC to secure the safety of the child or young person.

    A FGC is an independently facilitated process which provides an opportunity for a child or young person and their family to discuss child protection concerns raised by the Department for Child Protection (DCP), make informed decisions and develop plans for the care arrangements of the child or young person in an inclusive and voluntary manner.

    New practice guidance has been developed and implemented about FGCs convened by the Youth Court. This includes requirements about the regular review of agreements made at a FGC to ensure the safety of the child or young person.

    DCP has benefited from $1.6 million to set-up and commission family group conferences using non-government organisations from 1 January 2020.

    This is a key deliverable for DCP allowing it to support family members to plan and make their own decisions that protect children and young people early, without formal statutory intervention.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 205

    Commission not-for-profit agencies to provide alternative care in areas close to the APY Lands, such as Alice Springs and Coober Pedy. Alternative care could include a mixture of foster care and residential care.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has developed an In Care Strategy. A key priority of the strategy is developing a Commissioning Framework.

    The Framework will assist in identifying placement and service needs at the population level, individual level and the regional level and inform service design, development and purchase of out-of-home care placements and services by DCP.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 3

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 206

    Require that full carer assessments be completed in a timely manner in remote communities.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Additional Kinship Care Assessment staff have been employed. The Winangay trial has commenced in Coober Pedy.

    Planning has commenced for kinship care assessments on the APY Lands Kinship Carer Assessment staff complete assessments in other rural areas such as Ceduna.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    Additional resources have been provided to the Department for Child Protection through the government’s response to address the existing backlog of full carer assessments (recommendation 109). Investing in kinship care upfront, as part of the first phase of reforms implemented, will result in long term benefits associated with finding stable, supportive placements for children with their communities.

    Addressing the backlog will have a positive impact on the time it takes for the department to complete full carer assessments, including in remote communities. Once the backlog is addressed, further consideration will be given to how best to ensure carers in remote communities are assessed as a matter of priority.

  • 207

    Ensure that approved carers in remote communities receive the same level of support as carers elsewhere in the state, recognising the particular challenges faced by carers in these remote areas.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    A number of initiatives to improve support for kinship carers in remote communities have been implemented. In addition to the existence of kinship care support workers that support kinship carers in remote communities, the Winangay assessment tool has now been implemented, lands based workers have been recruited, a carer relationship officer has been appointed and a number of carer forums in remote communities have been facilitated.

    The Department for Child Protection is committed to a process of ongoing and continuous improvement to ensure that kinship carers receive the support required and will implement further improvement strategies as required.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 208

    Ensure that the unit tasked with investigating care concerns offers a service in remote communities equivalent to that provided elsewhere in the state.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Investigation Team within the Department for Child Protection’s (DCP) Human Resources Directorate is travelling to remote locations as necessary in order to undertake appropriate investigations in relation to serious care concerns referred to the Investigation Team.

    Further improvements to the service model are being considered in the Care Concern Reform Project being led by DCP’s Quality and Practice Directorate.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 209

    Provide secure, long-term funding for playgroups in remote Aboriginal communities, administered by a single agency.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Playgroups are operating in remote Aboriginal communities. The South Australian Government continues to advocate for long term Commonwealth funding for early childhood education and care services in these communities.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Education

  • 210

    Establish an integrated administration information communication technology (ICT) system to allow access to a complete range of student data to children who move schools in remote Aboriginal communities.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    A new data report within the Department for Education’s Education Dashboard which provides a range of student data is now available to schools with temporary enrolments in remote Aboriginal communities.

    Training has been undertaken by the Far North and Anangu Partnerships. The future rollout of the Department for Education’s electronic management system will enhance the availability of student data.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Education

  • 211

    Provide additional funding to meet demand for the Walytjapiti program, and ensure that the agency keeps case files open for participants until satisfied about the child’s ongoing wellbeing over a sustained period.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Walytjapiti program is a Commonwealth funded program operated by the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women's Council.

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has now established internal processes to ensure that case files for participants remain open until the DCP is satisfied about the child’s ongoing wellbeing.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 212

    Commission an early intervention service for families in remote communities for whom the agency has lower level concerns and who could benefit from support to prevent escalation of issues.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department of Human Service has commenced a series of co-design workshops to design a new system of child and family supports.

    The co-design process has involved working with front line workers, such as allied health and social work professionals as well as service users to look at how a connected system can be established that delivers the right service in a timely way.

    A key area being explored through the co-design process is working with Aboriginal families and children.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

  • 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.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Impementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Department for Education pp

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 12 August 2016.

    The Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) have conducted a review to consider whether existing facilities in remote Aboriginal communities are of an appropriate standard, and where new facilities may be required to deliver services to the community into the future.

    Two sites were identified as requiring additional infrastructure - Mimili and Yalata.

    On 31 October 2016 the Prime Minister of Australia announced that infrastructure would be upgraded at Yalata. DECD is undertaking building works at Mimili.

    This work will inform the implementation of Recommendation 214: to reform funding and structural arrangements to enable a single department to oversee the service hub facilities across all communities.

    Separately, DECD is also leading a revised Anangu Lands Education and Child Development Strategy which will consider how the department can best support the long term needs of children in these remote communities.

  • 214

    Reform funding and structural arrangements to enable a single agency to oversee the service hub facilities across all communities. This agency should regularly map, in collaboration with the local community, the needs of children and families through an annual local assessment of needs.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    As part of the consolidation of a range of existing government services under the Community and Family Services division within the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the co-design process currently underway for family preservation, targeted intensive support and other intensive non-government services that have a child abuse and neglect early intervention and prevention function, DHS is working in partnership with the Department for Child Protection to established a single coordination point to identify needs of children and families across all communities and to ensure that family support, health, education and child protection services are delivered in coordinated way to meet these needs.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

  • 215

    Establish a working group to promote collaborative practice between South Australian, Western Australian and Northern Territory agencies involved in the child protection system in the tri-border region, including working towards a cross-border legislative scheme for child protection across the 3 jurisdictions.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Discussion regarding opportunities to promote collaborative practice between senior executives from South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australian child protection agencies have occurred. Work is underway to progress discussions regarding the establishment of a working group.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 216

    Review child protection service provision in Ceduna, Yalata and Oak Valley, including the viability of introducing a fly-in fly-out service.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Following a review of the provision of child protection services, including an assessment of the fly-in fly-out model, the Department for Child Protection has employed two Lands based workers to provide an improved service to Ceduna, Yalata and Oak Valley.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The Department for Child Protection will review provision of child protection services, and to consider the viability of introducing a fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) service model, for the Ceduna, Yalata and Oak Valley communities.

    Identifying any gaps in service provision, and developing new strategies to enhance the delivery of services to children and families will have a positive impact on children and young people living in the remote communities and improved service delivery in Ceduna, Yalata and Oak Valley.

  • 217

    Develop strategies to improve Out of Home Care options in regional areas including:

    1. focusing attention on the recruitment of foster parents, particularly in areas of need
    2. identifying areas where there is a demand for residential care placements and develop facilities in those areas.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has developed a DCP In Care Strategy and is developing a Commissioning Framework.

    The Commissioning Framework will better identify needs at the population, individual level and the regional level and inform the purchase, service development and delivery of child protection services and out-of-home care placements funded by DCP.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 218

    Require the agency to develop a dedicated psychological service to deliver therapeutic services to children in care in regional areas.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection’s (DCP) Psychological Services established a Far North Far West team which was operational from January 2018.

    This provides an increased focus and response to meet the needs of children and young people in regional areas.

    A priority of the newly established DCP Quality and Practice Directorate will be to develop a multi-agency approach and implementation plan. In addition the new DCP Disability Program has a dedicated staff member for Far North Far West to ensure children with disabilities access therapeutic service available through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 219

    Collaborate with the Courts Administration Authority to improve access to justice for children in need of care in regional areas, including providing appropriate technology with respect to hearings in remote locations.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    To ensure access to justice for children in need of care and protection in regional areas, including access to technology, with respect to hearings in remote locations, the service model where Sheriff's Officers continue to attend all Care and Protection hearings where possible has been endorsed by the Courts Administrative Authority.

    This has meant officers at times are travelling long distances between locations in country areas in order to ensure attendance.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Courts Administration Authority (CAA)

  • 220

    Prepare an annual local assessment of needs for each regional area.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Local assessment of needs (LANs) have been developed and distributed to all CFARN regions and are being used as planning and implementation tools within Children's Centres, one of the backbone agencies for CFARNs, by the Community Development Coordinators.

    Action plans are being developed by Community Development Coordinators to support the planning and implementation of the LANs within CFARN regions.

    Regional LANs are currently being developed for distribution to Children's Centres outside of the CFARN regions.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation in principle.

    Through its response to the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission the South Australian Government will pilot 3 child and family assessment and referral networks (CFARNs) to develop the new service model and to better understand its interaction with the existing child protection system and services (recommendation 51). The Royal Commission has recommended that CFARNs develop the local assessments of needs, referred to in this recommendation.

    The 3 CFARN pilots will develop local assessment of needs for their local communities.

    The CFARN pilots will be evaluated after 12 months to determine whether the initiative should be scaled up and rolled out state-wide. Should the evaluation find that the CFARN model is not effective, consideration will be given to how the local assessments of needs can continue separately to the CFARN model.

  • 221

    Ensure that the agency’s practitioners in regional areas have access to ongoing professional development, through locally delivered training and videoconferencing.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Multiple mediums are used as a mechanism to provide training to staff in regional areas, inclusive of online training modules. A draft annual training plan has been developed to ensure equitable access to training for practitioners across the state.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    Through the government’s response, the budget allocated to the Department for Child Protection to train all staff has been significantly increased.

    The new department is committed to ensuring all professional staff have access to professional development that appropriately balances locally delivered, face to face training models with other options such as videoconferencing.

  • 222

    Require the agency to develop attraction and retention strategies specific to building workforce sustainability in regional areas, including the use of financial incentives for staff.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has a number of measures in place to support attraction and retention in regional areas. However, DCP is undertaking further review of these and other measures with a view to developing a more comprehensive and cohesive rural and regional strategy.

    Current measures include country transfer incentives, the Study Assistance Guideline including additional levels of support for those living and working in country and remote locations, fly-in fly-out agreement to attract and retain Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands based workers and application of attraction and retention allowances where necessary and appropriate.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 223

    Ensure that every child in care, or who enters care, and who is potentially eligible, applies to participate in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). For children already in care, this must occur by 31 March 2017.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Disability Program was expanded from 2 full time equivalent (FTE) social work staff to a multidisciplinary team of 11.3 FTE in July 2019.

    Since this time, the number of children accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plans has increased. As at 30 June 2019, 635 children and young people in care have approved NDIS plans, with a further group currently going through the NDIS planning process.

    Staff are located in regions and support regional case workers to ensure that NDIS plans meet individual children’s needs. When required, children and young people's functional abilities are assessed by Disability Program staff to assist with gaining evidence for NDIS eligibility.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 224

    Develop the function in C3MS to require caseworkers to input information when a child enters care, and for those children already in care, as to their potential eligibility for NDIS. This data should be extractable for analysis.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    C3MS functional capacity to upload current and historical client National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plans is now complete.

    The upload of all existing children's NDIS plan information and a centralised process to upload all future client NDIS plans state-wide is underway.

    Work continues to identify and develop reporting criteria to assist in quality assurance on maintenance of identification, planning and plan review processes associated with children's NDIS plans.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 225

    Determine and fund demand for specialist disability foster care placements in accordance with the available data about children in care who are eligible for NDIS.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has developed an In Care Strategy and is developing a Commissioning Framework.

    The Commissioning Framework will better identify needs, including disability, at the population, individual level and the regional level and inform the purchase, service development and delivery of child protection services and out-of-home care placements.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 226

    Employ specialist disability workers to consult across the agency in matters involving children with disabilities.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Department for Child Protection has appointed 2 senior disability program officers.

    These roles will provide cross-agency advice on NDIS and matters involving children with disabilities. They will also contribute to other recommendations regarding NDIS implementation training.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    Two additional disability support workers with expertise in NDIS access will be recruited to the Department for Child Protection in 2017.

    These staff will be responsible for consulting with staff across the agency about matters involving children with disabilities. In addition, they will contribute to the delivery of a number of recommendations regarding NDIS implementation training and increasing the quantity and quality of eligibility assessments.

  • 227

    Train agency caseworkers to recognise and respond to the needs of children with disabilities, particularly in accessing and maximising support services offered by NDIS.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) provides training to case workers to navigate plan requirements for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

    This training is supported by Disability Program staff and is delivered as required, ensuring case workers are appropriately skilled to recognise and respond to the needs of children with disability.

    Training and information on new and emerging NDIS processes will continue to be provided to case workers during DCP regional office meetings.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 228

    Ensure agency caseworkers, when participating in NDIS planning, prioritise the use of the Alternative Care Therapeutic Team program when appropriate to meet the therapeutic needs of a child in care.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Competed

    Progress update

    Two Senior Disability Program Officers have commenced with the department.

    The Senior Disability Program Officers are currently providing training and practice support on the importance of identifying children’s therapeutic needs and the NDIS requirements. The training aims to ensure Department for Child Protection caseworkers identify and obtain services for children who are eligible for NDIS.

    The training provided by the Senior Disability Program Officers specifically addresses the need for behaviour support and covers the options caseworkers have, including continuing to use the Alternative Care Therapeutic Team program when appropriate.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    Information regarding when and how to access the Alternative Care Therapeutic Team (ACTT) program delivered by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion will be included in NDIS and disability related training identified in recommendation 227.

    In addition, important information about the ACTT program will be included in guidance documentation and procedures accessed by Department for Child Protection case workers.

  • 229

    Develop clear guidelines on the role of home-based carers in planning and decision making in NDIS for children in their care.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    Information about planning and decision making for children in care with disabilities, the NDIS and the role of carers is publically available in the recently released the Who Can Say OK? resource. This resource provides information on who can make what decisions about children in care.

    Who Can Say OK? states the following about NDIS decision making:

    • The Families SA case worker is the parental representative and has decision-making authority, and must take the lead in NDIS registration, planning and review processes.
    • To ensure the best outcomes for the child, the registration, planning and review process should include the carer and child, where appropriate. The outcomes of the NDIS plan, such as taking the child to appointments and assessment activities will, in many cases, be actioned by the carer.

    The Who Can Say Okay? booklet is available online at https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/children-care/information-foster-and-kinship-carers/resources-foster-and-kinship-carers

  • 230

    Require child and family assessment and referral network members to provide support for families who are caring for children with disabilities, to enable them to engage with NDIS.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The child and family assessment and referral network has now established links with National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and utilises the referral pathways provided by NDIS through its Early Childhood Partners.

    It is important to note that the network is for infants and their families. The NDIS has a specific approach for children under 7 years of age.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services

  • 231

    Require that the cultural background of children coming into contact with the child protection system be recorded on C3MS, including in the 'life domains' area, for all children in care who have a culturally and linguistically diverse background.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Changes to the Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS) have commenced that will enable more accurate and detailed recording of ethnicity and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status of children and families coming into contact with the child protection system.

    Status

    Accepted in principle - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 232

    Analyse data collected regarding the cultural background of children coming into contact with the child protection system to determine how to best respond to children at risk in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Connected Client and Case Management System (C3MS) development is in progress by the Department for Child Protection to enable more accurate recording of, and subsequent reporting on, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status of children coming into the child protection system.

    Analysis has been undertaken to enable more accurate recording of information about the cultural background of children coming into the child protection system. This development work will be prioritised in light of the outcome of the C3MS review (Recommendation 20).

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 233

    Undertake a qualitative review of the capacity of the agency’s Multicultural Community Engagement Team (MCET).

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Flinders University made 18 recommendations to the Department for Child Protection (DCP) following their qualitative review of the Multicultural Community Engagement Team (MCET).

    Twelve recommendations have been completed and opportunities are currently being scoped to progress the remaining recommendations.

    DCP will continue improvements to the MCET in line with the recommendations and DCP priorities to deliver culturally competent practice.

    This will streamline operations, improve decision making and increase efficiency to ensure the focus remains on quality service delivery to culturally and linguistically diverse children and families.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 234

    Evaluate the effectiveness of specialist Multicultural Community Engagement Team (MCET) staff working together with front-line practitioners on child protection cases and assess the value of collocating MCET staff in the agency’s offices.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Department for Child Protection engaged Flinders University to undertake the Multicultural Community Engagement Team (MCET) review. This report was finalised and handed over to the department in August 2017. The report outlines 18 recommendations, a number of which have now been implemented including recommendations for the MCET to be brought together in one physical location based on the author’s assessment of the value of co-location.

    The Multicultural Services Team (formerly known as the Multicultural Engagement Team) are co-working with field staff providing cultural advice, case direction and scoping for family members for children entering and in out of home care. This team is also connecting children and families from culturally and linguistic diverse backgrounds who would benefit from an alternative response.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    An evaluation of the effectiveness of the specialist Multicultural Community Engagement Team (MCET) staff working together with front-line practitioners on child protection cases will be considered as part of the MCET review undertaken in response to recommendation 233.

    The review will include the requirement to determine the most appropriate location of MCET staff, and the most appropriate place for MCET in the organisational structure.

  • 235

    Assist staff and carers who work with children in care who have a culturally and linguistically diverse background to achieve culturally informed best practice through the development of practice guides.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) is working on ways to better assist staff and carers in achieving culturally informed best practice.

    The Multicultural Services Team provide practice advice and work in partnership with DCP case workers to grow practice skills and knowledge in providing services to children and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

    This work has also included the development of practice guidance, workplace planning and staff induction, as well as incorporating the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Cultural Identity Support Tool into case planning.

    DCP is currently trialling the use of the Cultural Maintenance Plan and Aboriginal Cultural Identity and Support Tool (ACIST) as attachments to the case plan to provide a more holistic picture of a child’s cultural needs.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 2

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 236

    Ensure that every child in care with a culturally and linguistically diverse background has a comprehensive cultural maintenance plan that is regularly reviewed, having regard to the child’s age and placement circumstances.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Section 28 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 requires that each child in custody or under guardianship pursuant to the Act have a case plan that is developed and maintained in partnership with children, families, carers and relevant professionals.

    This also includes a part setting out a Cultural Maintenance Plan to better reflect the needs of children and young people with a culturally and linguistically diverse background. These changes took effect in October 2018.

    The Department for Child Protection (DCP) is currently trialling the use of the Cultural Maintenance Plan and Aboriginal Cultural Identity and Support Tool (ACIST) as attachments to the case plan to provide a more holistic picture of a child’s cultural needs.

    In addition, DCP is working on ways to better assist staff and carers in achieving culturally informed best practice. This has included the development of practice guidance, workplace planning and staff induction, as well as incorporating the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Cultural Identity Support Tool into case planning.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 237

    Identify key performance indicators on the cultural competency of the agency’s workforce, and regularly review the effect of these recommendations on that competency.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Implementation and monitoring of the ‘Aboriginal Cultural Footprint program’ is overseen by the Department for Child Protection’s (DCP) Learning and Development Sub-Committee.

    The four step training program was formally launched in May 2019 and developed in response to a number of Nyland recommendations focussed on establishing cultural safety for Aboriginal children in care, their families and the DCP workforce.

    Step one is an online, interactive program for all DCP staff. Steps two and three are face-to-face for metropolitan staff and Step four is for staff working directly with Aboriginal individuals, family and communities.

    The DCP Aboriginal Recruitment and Retention Strategy 2019 – 2022 was launched on 22 August 2019 and has been developed as part of the agency’s commitment to ‘Growing our Own’ Aboriginal workforce and reaching the target of a 10% Aboriginal workforce.

    The DCP Aboriginal Action Plan provides the broad framework for ongoing implementation. The performance indicators outlined in the overarching Aboriginal Employment Strategy will be implemented in partnership between DCP’s Aboriginal Practice, Quality and Practice and Human Resources Directorates.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 238

    Enact a stand-alone legislative instrument to regulate the screening of individuals engaged in child-related work which:

    1. declares that the paramount consideration in screening assessment must be the best interests of children, having regard to their safety and protection
    2. invests powers in only one authorised government screening unit which is charged with maintaining a public register of all clearances and their expiration dates
    3. empowers the screening authority to take into account in its assessments criminal offence and child protection history, professional misconduct or disciplinary proceedings, and deregistration as a foster parent or other type of carer under the Family and Community Services Act 1972
    4. provides a clear definition of child-related work, including the meaning of incidental or usual contact
    5. declares that the outcome of a screening assessment will be limited to either a clearance or a refusal and that all applications, even if withdrawn, will be assessed
    6. requires individuals to seek and maintain a personal clearance, valid for a period of up to five years, through a card or unique electronic identifier system, which has portability across roles and organisations in the state; and to notify the screening authority of relevant changes in their offence, conduct or child protection circumstances
    7. requires employers to ensure that all relevant personnel in their organisations, at all times, hold current clearances
    8. precludes exemptions from screening requirements for—
      1. registered teachers
      2. applicants waiting on screening outcome decisions
      3. those working or volunteering with children who are in care
      4. those who have been refused a WWCC
    9. details offences for individuals and organisations who fail to comply with the provisions of the legislation, including engagement in or for child-related work without a clearance, and dishonesty in the application process
    10. permits appeals from decisions of the screening authority to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal or other independent body.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 21 October 2016.

    This recommendation is largely achieved through the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016, which was passed by the Parliament in November 2016 and cannot be enacted until regulations have been developed, publicly consulted upon and finalised, and a second bill is passed making transitional arrangements and consequential amendments.

    The new legislation once enacted will implement a new regime of working with children checks for South Australia, in line with the recommendations of the South Australian Royal Commission and a number of recommendations of the Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutions Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

    The changes create a stronger legislative scheme, ensuring that a person who is assessed as being of high risk to the safety of children is prohibited from working or volunteering with them, and that it is an offence to allow this to occur. It will also bring South Australia more in line with other states and territories, enabling progress towards a nationally consistent scheme.

    Part H (iii) of recommendation 238, will be partially implemented through regulations, to sit under the new legislation. The government is keen to make sure we get the balance right between protecting children in care, with the rights of those children to privacy.

  • 239

    Establish a real-time monitoring system which ensures that changes in screened individuals’ circumstances are communicated to the screening authority, that clearances are reviewed, and that changes are reflected in the register, and communicated to employers.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    From 1 July 2017, the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) Screening Unit started monitoring new information that may change the clearance status of individuals. New information from SA Police, DCSI and the Department for Child Protection is used by the DCSI Screening Unit to ensure individual child clearances are current.

    40 child-related clearances have been revoked since continuous monitoring has been implemented.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services (DHS)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 21 October 2016.

    The Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 provides for continuous monitoring, whereby every person who holds a working with children check is continuously monitored for any new relevant South Australian criminal history, child protection and care concern information to ensure that the screening clearance remains current.

    Through this process, data will be ‘washed’ daily, and relevant information provided through the screening unit systems for a re-assessment of the ‘working with children’ check.

    Continuous monitoring will deliver real reform in response to recommendations by both the South Australian Royal Commission and the Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

    Continuous monitoring will start from July 2017.

  • 240

    Charge the screening authority with:

    1. ensuring that it has access to forensic expertise in child protection and behavioural indicators of risk
    2. developing a consolidated set of standards, matrices, and weighting guidelines for use in screening assessments, that include substantiated and unsubstantiated criminal, child protection and disciplinary matters, and ensuring that assessors are appropriately trained in their application
    3. developing guidelines for ensuring that applicants are afforded appropriate procedural fairness, including circumstances in which information may be withheld from applicants
    4. developing and promulgating timeline benchmarks for screening outcomes, and procedures for informing applicants whose clearances may fall outside benchmarked times
    5. developing information sharing protocols with interstate screening units.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Regulations under the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 were made on 17 January 2019. Further Regulations to cover Fees and Presumptive Disqualified Offences were made in June 2019.

    Amendments to the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 were passed by Parliament in May 2019 to update the legislation to reflect the agreed National Working with Children Checks (WWCC) Standards. The Guidelines which cover recommendation parts a-d were published in the Government Gazette in June 2019.

    The new WWCC will commence in South Australia on 1 July 2019. The Screening Unit, located within the Department of Human Services, continues to work with the Commonwealth and jurisdictions, via the appropriate intergovernmental forums to facilitate the exchange of information between Screening Units.

    Provisions to exchange information between Screening Units and jurisdictions have been incorporated into the recent amendments to the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services (DHS)

  • 241

    Develop an independent mechanism and evaluation process for reviewing the performance of the screening authority.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Department of Human Services (DHS)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 21 October 2017.

    This recommendation is largely achieved through the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016, which was passed by the Parliament in November 2016 and cannot be enacted until regulations have been developed, publicly consulted upon and finalised, and a second bill is passed making transitional arrangements and consequential amendments.

    A provision has been included in the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 that requires the minister to cause an independent review to be conducted at least once every 5 years. The first review should therefore occur prior to 2023.

    Under the new legislation, this review must be conducted by a person or body independent from the minister and the screening unit, and must be laid before both Houses of Parliament.

  • 242

    Amend the Children’s Protection Act 1993:

    1. to permit and, in appropriate cases, require the sharing of information between prescribed government and non-government agencies that have responsibilities for the health, safety or wellbeing of children where it would promote those issues
    2. to require prescribed government and non-government agencies to take reasonable steps to coordinate decision making and the delivery of services for children.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The remaining provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 came into operation on 22 October 2018, including section Chapter 11, Part 3. These sections permit or require the sharing of relevant information between prescribed government and non-government agencies.

    The Children and Young People (Safety) Regulations 2017 also came into operation on 22 October 2018. Regulation 39 provides further requirements regarding the sharing of information under the Act. The implementation of this recommendation is effectively complete.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 243

    Require senior leaders from government and non-government agencies that have responsibilities for the health, safety and wellbeing of children to meet at least quarterly to identify strategic measures to promote interagency collaboration and information sharing.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Child Safety and Wellbeing Advisory Panel (CSWAP) has met twice since the A Fresh Start – Progress Update June 2017.

    The group will continue to meet regularly to identify key issues impacting child protection reform, provide advice and monitor delivery of a new child protection system from an across sector perspective.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    The chief executive, Department for Child Protection will chair quarterly discussions to identify strategic opportunities to promote inter-agency collaboration and information sharing across all major government agencies. This will commence from 2017.

    Meetings will include Senior Management Council members with responsibilities for health, education, justice, police and housing, as well as non-government representatives.

    The Child and Family Wellbeing Association (CAFWA) and the Human Services Partnership Forum will be invited to nominate the non-government representatives best placed to attend these meetings.

  • 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 interagency collaboration in child protection matters, and measure that performance.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Office for the Public Sector (OPS)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 12 August 2016.

    The Office for the Public Sector was charged with delivering this recommendation through the development of the 2016-2017 chief executive performance agreements.

    Chief executive performance agreements for 2016-2017 state that chief executives of agencies responsible for the health, safety and wellbeing of children need to “demonstrate interagency collaboration in child protection matters”.

  • 245

    Establish the statutory office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People and provide the Commissioner with the functions and powers referred to in this report.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 8 August 2016.

    The Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 (SA) (‘the Act’) establishes the office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People, continues the Guardian for Children and Young People and the Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee, and creates the Child Development Council.

    The Act provides the Commissioner with the functions and powers set out in the report, except that the Commissioner is required to consult with the minister before publishing information contained in a report made under Part 2 of the Act.

    The Act was passed by Parliament on 19 October 2016.

    An expression of interest for the position of Commissioner for Children and Young People was advertised on 12 November 2016 with applications closing on 9 December 2016. A 4 week period has been set to enable time for promotion of the role. Interviews are planned to occur the week beginning Monday 9 January 2017.

    The selection process will involve the voices of children, with the Council for the Care of Children to establish a children’s panel.

  • 246

    Consolidate the legislation for the Children’s Commissioner, the Guardian for Children and Young People (GCYP), the Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee (CDSIRC) and the Child Development Council in a single Act of Parliament.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 30 August 2016.

    The Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 (SA) (“the Act”), consolidates the provisions governing these various oversight and advocacy bodies.

    The Act was passed by Parliament on 19 October 2016.

  • 247

    Empower the Guardian for Children and Young People (GCYP) and the Child Death and Serious Injury Committee (CDSIRC) to refer matters to the Children’s Commissioner, where they are of the view that escalation through processes available to the Children’s Commissioner is appropriate.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 30 August 2016.

    This recommendation will be implemented by section 35 of the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 (SA).

    The Act was passed by Parliament on 19 October 2016.

  • 248

    Empower the Children’s Commissioner to exercise its statutory powers and functions in relation to such matters, including employing the regime to monitor government responses to recommendations, and escalate the matter to the minister and Parliament where necessary, at his or her sole discretion.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 30 August 2016.

    This recommendation will be implemented by sections 12 to 17, and section 39, of the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 (SA) (“the Act”).

    The Act was passed by Parliament on 19 October 2016.

  • 249

    Collocate the Children’s Commissioner, Guardian for Children and Young People, Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee and the Child Development Committee, and make arrangements for the sharing of some administrative functions.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Commissioner met with the Guardian for Children and Young People (GCYP) and the Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee (CDSIRC) and scoped each office’s individual requirement for a collocated environment.

    Each group had significantly different requirement in relation to:

    • Public accessibility
    • Street visibility
    • Ground floor access
    • Capacity to pay market rent
    • Sole occupancy versus open plan

    Commercial agents and the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure were unable to find suitable accommodation to meet the needs of all 3 bodies. The search included existing government buildings and commercial properties. No ground floor government buildings were found for either the Commissioner or a collocated space.

    Given the Commissioner’s priority to find child friendly and accessible independent accommodation in a timely fashion the option for colocation of all three bodies will no longer be pursued.

    The Commissioner has secured independent accommodation.

    The option for CDSIRC and GCYP to collocate is still possible. Alternative collaborative working arrangements methods will be explored.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Guardian for Children and Young People

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation in principle.

    There is great value in having close working relationships between the Children’s Commissioner, Guardian for Children Young People, Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee (CDSIRC) and the Child Development Committee.

    The Guardian, CDSIRC and the Council for the Care of Children were co-located and this was considered a constructive arrangement that enhanced the work of each group. Therefore the State Government is currently investigating options for co-location of the 4 oversight and advocacy bodies identified in this recommendation.

    The government will work with the oversight and advocacy bodies to determine appropriate and efficient arrangements for the sharing of administrative functions.

  • 250

    Amend legislation to permit, but not require, Guardian of Children and Young People, Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee and the Children’s Commissioner to share de-identified data.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 30 August 2016.

    This recommendation will be implemented by section 56 of the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 (SA) (‘the Act’) and its operation with the Public Sector (Data Sharing) Act 2016 (SA).

    The Act was passed by Parliament on 19 October 2016.

  • 251

    Amend legislation to empower the Children’s Commissioner or Guardian for Children and Young people to make complaints to the Ombudsman and Health Care and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC) on behalf of a child.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 30 August 2016.

    This recommendation will be implemented by sections 37 and 38 of the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 (SA) (‘the Act’).

    The Act was passed by Parliament on 19 October 2016.

  • 252

    Amend the Ombudsman Act 1972 (SA) to ensure that complaints about the actions of government agencies, and other agencies acting under contract to the government, concerning child protection services, find principal jurisdiction with the Ombudsman, and not the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner, where the complaint is about an administrative act.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 30 August 2016.

    This recommendation will be implemented by Parts 4 and 5 in Schedule 1 to the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 (SA) (“the Act”).

    The Act was passed by Parliament on 19 October 2016.

  • 253

    Amend the Ombudsman Act 1972 to permit the Ombudsman to exercise the jurisdiction of Health Care and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC) in appropriate cases.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Status

    Accepted - Completed

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 30 August 2016.

    This recommendation will be implemented by clause 9 in Schedule 1 to the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 (SA) (the Act), which amends section 13 of the Ombudsman Act 1972 to provide that the Ombudsman, when investigating a ‘prescribed child protection complaint’, has any additional powers that the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner would have under the Health and Community Services Complaints Act 2004 if the commissioner was investigating such a complaint under that Act.

    The Act was passed by Parliament on 19 October 2016.

  • 254

    Develop an administrative arrangement between the Ombudsman and Health Care and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC) to determine matters in which the Ombudsman would exercise dual jurisdictions, including, but not limited to, child protection complaints.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Ombudsman and the HCSCC, upon reviewing child protection-related complaints, have agreed it is not possible to identify particular classes of complaint over which the Ombudsman has ‘dual jurisdiction’. Accordingly an administrative arrangement in relation to this matter is not necessary at this stage. It has been agreed all matters will be referred and assessed by the Ombudsman in the first instance.

    This arrangement will be reviewed 6 months after the Act commences.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Ombudsman's Office

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    This recommendation is related to recommendation 252, which will be implemented by Parts 4 and 5 of Schedule 1 to the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 (SA)(“the Act”).

    The Act was passed by Parliament on 19 October 2016.

    The government has consulted with the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner and the Ombudsman who will discuss whether there are particular classes of complaint over which the Ombudsman has ‘dual jurisdiction’. It is envisaged that these classes of complaint could be identified in an administrative arrangement as complaints which the commissioner would investigate and not refer to the Ombudsman.

  • 255

    Develop the capacity of the Ombudsman’s Office to respond specifically to child protection complaints.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    Between December 2017 and June 2019 the Ombudsman's Office has received and assessed 359 complaints about the Department for Child Protection.

    Six formal investigations have been completed during this time, and these have resulted in the Ombudsman making 20 recommendations to the Department for Child Protection.

    A number of other formal investigations are currently underway. Internal capacity to respond these matters has been developed and an additional two Legal Officers (Child Protection) were recruited and have been investigating child protection related complaints since June 2018.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Ombudsman's Office

  • 256

    Develop a package of information regarding making complaints about child protection matters, including information and complaint forms which are suitable for children and young people.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The CREATE Foundation was commissioned by the Department for Child Protection (DCP) to develop a suite of child friendly resources that communicates to children their rights and pathways to making a complaint.

    DCP will continue to review and update this information to ensure it meets the needs and expectations of children and young people going forward.

    Further to this, South Australian Civil Appeals Tribunal (SACAT) has commissioned the development of a suite of resources for children and young people to advise them of their rights and pathways to making a complaint to SACAT.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

  • 257

    Establish an across-government steering committee to monitor and oversee the implementation of recommendations. Membership of the committee should include representation by senior executives from relevant government agencies and include at least one independent member external to the South Australian Government. The Committee should report directly to the Minister for Child Protection Reform as Chair of the Child Protection Reform Cabinet Committee.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Child Safety and Wellbeing Advisory Panel (CSWAP) was established and met for the first time on 17 March 2017.

    The panel is responsible for driving genuine partnership between non-government and government agencies in delivering child protection reform. It is co-chaired by the CEO, Aboriginal Family Support Services and the Chief Executive, Department for Education and Child Development.

    Members represent non-government agencies, Aboriginal services, peak agencies including for children and young people, the academic sector, legal services and various government departments. The co-chairs and members were appointed by the Minister for Education and Child Development.

    The Portfolio Management Board (PMB) was also established and comprises Chief Executives and deputy Chief Executives from designated government agencies responsible for driving and monitoring reforms. The PMB will ensure a whole-of-government, coordinated approach to reform implementation.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 8 August 2016.

    An across-government steering committee was established to monitor the development and implementation of the government response to the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission.

    The steering committee was chaired by the chief executive, Attorney-General’s Department, who reports directly to the Minister for Child Protection Reform as Chair of the Child Protection Reform Cabinet Committee.

    This committee consisted almost entirely of senior government executives. However, 3 external members have been invited at the request of Cabinet to ensure the voices of children, the Aboriginal community and academics are included in discussions.

    Announced as part of this response, the steering committee has been replaced with a Child Safety and Wellbeing Advisory Panel. The advisory panel will be the key mechanism for government to form a genuine partnership with the broader community to tackle child protection reform in the future.

    The Panel’s terms of reference are to:

    • advise on reform implementation
    • monitor and advise the system-level impact of government reforms
    • track aggregated indicators of progress towards improved outcomes for children and families within the child protection system
    • promote shared leadership, commitment and new ways of working together to create a better child protection system for South Australia.
  • 258

    Establish a response and implementation team consisting of staff with expertise in child protection, policy, data analysis, stakeholder engagement and legislative development.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    The Child Protection Reform Implementation Team is now fully established.

    The team is currently leading the reform of the South Australian child protection system, including implementing recommendations from the Royal Commission.

    A targeted recruitment process has ensured the team is staffed with an appropriate mix of people experienced in change management and child protection work.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

    The South Australian Government accepted this recommendation on 8 August 2016.

    $1.0 million was provided in 2016-17 through the 2016-17 State Budget to establish a Response unit within the Attorney-General’s Department. This unit was established as a time-limited structure to analyse the Royal Commission’s recommendations and provide advice to Cabinet on how best to respond. The staff within the unit had skills across child protection, policy, stakeholder engagement and legislative development.

    Through the establishment of the new Department for Child Protection, an implementation team has been established to drive the implementation of A Fresh Start.  This team will draw on the child protection, policy, data analysis, stakeholder engagement and legislation development skills across the new agency and across government to deliver these reforms as a whole-of-government priority.

  • 259

    Ensure the implementation of recommendations within the newly formed child protection department is adequately managed with high-level change agents and appropriately qualified and skilled child protection staff.

    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    Progress update

    Implementation of recommendations from 'The Life They Deserve' is being led by the Child Protection Reform Implementation Team in the Department for Child Protection.

    This multi-disciplinary team is staffed by a mix of experienced project and change managers and child protection practitioners and experts.

    The team is responsible for both the delivery of recommendations and coordination of work across government and the wider sector to deliver a reformed child protection system.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)

    The South Australian Government accepts this recommendation.

    As part of the creation of the new Department for Child Protection, a new Reform Implementation Team has been established.

    Through targeted recruitment of new staff and capacity building of existing staff within the agency, the department will ensure that the implementation team has an appropriate mix of staff experienced in change management and child protection work.

  • 260

    Respond to the recommendations in this report as follows

    1. on or before 31 December 2016, provide a report setting out—
      1. the recommendations of the Commission that have been implemented either partly or in full
      2. the recommendations of the Commission that have been accepted, but have not yet been fully implemented, the manner in which they will be fully implemented and the intended timeframe for that implementation
      3. the recommendations of the Commission that will not be implemented and the reason for not implementing them
    2. on or before 30 June 2017, provide a further report as to—
      1. the recommendations that have been wholly or partly implemented and the manner in which they have been implemented
      2. if a decision has been made not to implement a recommendation that was to be implemented, the reason for not implementing that recommendation
      3. if a decision has been made to implement a recommendation that previously was not to be implemented, the reasons for that decision and the manner in which the recommendation will be implemented
    3. for a period of not less than five years after the provision of the report referred to in paragraph 4(b) hereof, provide an annual report setting out—
      1. the recommendations that have been wholly or partly implemented in the relevant year and the manner in which they have been implemented
      2. if, during the relevant year, a decision has been made not to implement a recommendation that previously was to be implemented, the reason for not implementing that recommendation
      3. if, during the relevant year, a decision has been made to implement a recommendation that previously was not to be implemented, the reasons for the decision and the manner in which the recommendation will be implemented
    4. make reports publicly accessible, including being published online.
    1. Not yet commenced
    2. Planning
    3. Implementing
    4. Completed

    September 2019 update

    The Department for Child Protection has drafted the third annual progress report in line with part c of this recommendation.

    Reporting obligations under section 156(1)(e) of the new Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 state that recommendations must be reported on no later than 30 September each year, and tabled in Parliament within six sitting days after receipt.

    Status

    Accepted - Phase 1

    Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)