The Child Protection Systems Royal Commission conducted a comprehensive investigation into the laws, policies, practices and structures in place for children at risk of harm, including those who are under guardianship of the minister.

The report, 'The Life They Deserve' was delivered to the Governor of South Australia on 5 August 2016 and described a system in urgent need of reform, pushed beyond capacity and with critical matters slipping through the cracks.

In the report, Royal Commissioner Nyland made 260 recommendations for improvements to the child protection system.

The government's initial response to the Royal Commission's findings, 'A fresh start' (PDF, 4.5 MB) was released 29 November 2016.

A fresh start

'A fresh start' (PDF, 4.5 MB) aims to improve outcomes for vulnerable children, their families and the broader South Australian community by proposing extensive improvements to our state's child protection system.

The report responds to each of the recommendations from the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission, but also goes further to develop a broader child development system.

See each recommendation and the government's response on our website in an easily searchable format that enables searching by theme, keyword or individual recommendation.

Preparing the response

In preparing the response, the government undertook extensive consultation with:

  • the non-government sector
  • government agencies
  • foster and kinship carers
  • the broader community.

'A fresh start' (PDF, 4.5 MB) outlines a heightened focus on early intervention and prevention. Services and support programs will extend into our mainstream health, education and other wellbeing services.

The response also outlines a number of reforms to the statutory child protection system, including strengthening our laws and developing an improved model to receive and respond to notifications.

This reform will require a collaborative effort and long-term commitment. The Department for Child Protection has an important part to play, working closely with other non-government and government agencies.

Child protection is everybody's business and parents, carers, communities and non-government service providers all play critical roles.