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Publication of Ombudsman’s Report

Friday, June 28, 2019

The deaths of these two innocent children and their mother is a great tragedy and we acknowledge the heartache and anger felt by the families involved.

Tragic events like this give us pause to reflect on how we, as a department, respond to certain situations and how we must constantly adapt our practice to best support vulnerable families and children.

While the person who perpetrated this horrific act was not the subject of concerns raised with the department, the family was known and we accept more could have been done to keep the children safe.

Since the time of this tragedy, the department has worked hard to introduce key recommendations from the Nyland Royal Commission including establishing a standalone department with child protection as the primary focus and implementing the new Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.

This has resulted in an increased focus on family-led decision-making, greater engagement with the Family Court, and establishing clinical governance structures and systems aimed at improving child safety, risk management and quality practice improvement.

Providing feedback to notifiers (rec. 40) is currently under consideration and the closure of intakes due to lack of resources (rec. 62) is being phased out through the use of new provisions under the child safety laws, allowing child protection matters to be referred to other appropriate State Authorities.

We welcome the Ombudsman's investigation, accept the recommendations and will implement actions as determined by the State Government in response to this very important report. 

Cathy Taylor
Chief Executive
Department for Child Protection