8.1 - Final Report

To allow for delayed disclosure of abuse by victims and take account of limitation periods for civil actions for child sexual abuse, institutions that engage in child-related work should retain, for at least 45 years, records relating to child sexual abuse that has occurred or is alleged to have occurred.

Changes to General Disposal Schedule 30 for State Government agencies were made that meet the requirements of recommendation 8.1.  The State Records Council approved the changes in June 2019.  Similar changes to General Disposal Schedule 40 for Local Government are to be approved by the Council in December 2019.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: State Records (AGD)
Recommendation progress status: Complete

8.02 - Final Report

The National Archives of Australia and state and territory public records authorities should ensure that records disposal schedules require that records relating to child sexual abuse that has occurred or is alleged to have occurred be retained for at least 45 years.

Changes to General Disposal Schedule 30 for State Government agencies were made that meet the requirements of recommendation 8.1.  The State Records Council approved the changes in June 2019.  Similar changes to General Disposal Schedule 40 for Local Government are to be approved by the Council in December 2019.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: State Records (AGD)
Recommendation progress status: Complete

8.3 - Final Report

The National Archives of Australia and state and territory public records authorities should provide guidance to government and non-government institutions on identifying records which, it is reasonable to expect, may become relevant to an actual or alleged incident of child sexual abuse; and on the retention and disposal of such records.

The national guidance was drafted and approved by the Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA) in August 2019.  The guidance is available via the CAARA website.  Individual states and territories (including South Australia) are replicating this guidance for their jurisdictions.

Government response: Accepted
Lead agency: State Records (AGD)
Recommendation progress status: Complete

8.4 - Final Report

All institutions that engage in child-related work should implement the following principles for records and recordkeeping, to a level that responds to the risk of child sexual abuse occurring within the institution.

Principle 1: Creating and keeping full and accurate records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse, is in the best interests of children and should be an integral part of institutional leadership, governance and culture.

  • Institutions that care for or provide services to children must keep the best interests of the child uppermost in all aspects of their conduct, including recordkeeping. It is in the best interest of children that institutions foster a culture in which the creation and management of accurate records are integral parts of the institution’s operations and governance.

Principle 2: Full and accurate records should be created about all incidents, responses and decisions affecting child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse.

  • Institutions should ensure that records are created to document any identified incidents of grooming, inappropriate behaviour (including breaches of institutional codes of conduct) or child sexual abuse and all responses to such incidents.
  • Records created by institutions should be clear, objective and thorough. They should be created at, or as close as possible to, the time the incidents occurred, and clearly show the author (whether individual or institutional) and the date created.

Principle 3: Records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse, should be maintained appropriately.

  • Records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse, should be maintained in an indexed, logical and secure manner. Associated records should be collocated or cross-referenced to ensure that people using those records are aware of all relevant information.

Principle 4: Records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse, should only be disposed of in accordance with law or policy.

  • Records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse, must only be destroyed in accordance with records disposal schedules or published institutional policies.
  • Records relevant to child sexual abuse should be subject to minimum retention periods that allow for delayed disclosure of abuse by victims, and take account of limitation periods for civil actions for child sexual abuse.

Principle 5: Individuals’ existing rights to access, amend or annotate records about themselves should be recognised to the fullest extent.

  • Individuals whose childhoods are documented in institutional records should have a right to access records made about them. Full access should be given unless contrary to law. Specific, not generic, explanations should be provided in any case where a record, or part of a record, is withheld or redacted.
  • Individuals should be made aware of, and assisted to assert, their existing rights to request that records containing their personal information be amended or annotated, and to seek review or appeal of decisions refusing access, amendment or annotation.

Guidance highlighting the principles recommended in 8.4 has been developed and approved by the Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA). The guidance is available via the CAARA website. State Records, along with other jurisdictions, are making this available via their websites. State Records continues to provide advice and assistance, including the development of policy, which is based on these principles.

Government response: Accepted
Lead agency: State Records (AGD)
Recommendation progress status: Complete

8.5 - Final Report

State and territory governments should ensure that non-government schools operating in the state or territory are required to comply, at a minimum, with standards applicable to government schools in relation to the creation, maintenance and disposal of records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse.

The Government of South Australia will implement this recommendation by developing a policy (or amending an existing policy) in consultation with the non-government school sector that includes standards on the creation, maintenance and disposal of records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse.

This policy will apply to both government and non-government schools and will become a registration requirement for all schools.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

8.6 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should make nationally consistent legislative and administrative arrangements, in each jurisdiction, for a specified range of bodies (prescribed bodies) to share information related to the safety and wellbeing of children, including information relevant to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts (relevant information). These arrangements should be made to establish an information exchange scheme to operate in and across Australian jurisdictions.

The Public Sector (Data Sharing) Act 2016 provides for agencies to share identifiable data ‘in connection with the wellbeing, welfare or protection of a child or children or other vulnerable person’.

This legislation also provides for the sharing of information with non-government organisations providing services to or on behalf of the government and sharing with other jurisdictions including the Commonwealth.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Office for Data Analytics (DPC)
Recommendation progress status: Complete

8.7 - Final Report

In establishing the information exchange scheme, the Australian Government and state and territory governments should develop a minimum of nationally consistent provisions to:

  1. enable direct exchange of relevant information between a range of prescribed bodies, including service providers, government and non-government agencies, law enforcement agencies, and regulatory and oversight bodies, which have responsibilities related to children’s safety and wellbeing
  2. permit prescribed bodies to provide relevant information to other prescribed bodies without a request, for purposes related to preventing, identifying and responding to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts
  3. require prescribed bodies to share relevant information on request from other prescribed bodies, for purposes related to preventing, identifying and responding to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts, subject to limited exceptions
  4. explicitly prioritise children’s safety and wellbeing and override laws that might otherwise prohibit or restrict disclosure of information to prevent, identify and respond to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts
  5. provide safeguards and other measures for oversight and accountability to prevent unauthorised sharing and improper use of information obtained under the information exchange scheme require prescribed bodies to provide adversely affected persons with an opportunity to respond to untested or unsubstantiated allegations, where such information is received under the information exchange scheme, prior to taking adverse action against such persons, except where to do so could place another person at risk of harm.

South Australia has powerful information sharing constructs through the Public Sector (Data Sharing) Act 2016, the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 and the state-wide Information Sharing Guidelines. The Vulnerable Children Project, which facilitates sharing of child projection information between South Australian government agencies and the Department for Child Protection is due for completion by 31 December 2019.

South Australia continues to work with the federal government and other jurisdictions and through the Australian Data and Digital Council to improve information sharing via various initiatives. This includes awaiting the draft of the Federal data sharing legislation.

The National Child Protection Information Sharing System project, led by the Department of Social Services is looking to improve child safety by sharing child protection information dynamically across jurisdictions. South Australia is involved in this project.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Office for Data Analytics (DPC)
Recommendation progress status: Planning

8.8 - Final Report

The Australian Government, state and territory governments and prescribed bodies should work together to ensure that the implementation of our recommended information exchange scheme is supported with education, training and guidelines. Education, training and guidelines should promote understanding of, and confidence in, appropriate information sharing to better prevent, identify and respond to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts, including by addressing:

  1. impediments to information sharing due to limited understanding of applicable laws
  2. unauthorised sharing and improper use of information.

South Australia continues to coordinate with the Australian Government and other jurisdictions to implement information and data sharing schemes and provide input based on our experience with the Public Sector (Data Sharing) Act 2016 and the Information Sharing Guidelines.

The National Child Protection Information Sharing System project terms of references includes ‘Ensuring effective change management strategies are implemented across jurisdictions to support uptake and appropriate use of the solution by child protection staff’.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department of the Premier and Cabinet
Recommendation progress status: Planning

8.9 - Final Report

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Education Council should consider the need for nationally consistent state and territory legislative requirements about the types of information recorded on teacher registers. Types of information that the council should consider, with respect to a person’s registration and employment as a teacher, include:

  1. the person’s former names and aliases
  2. the details of former and current employers
  3. where relating to allegations or incidents of child sexual abuse:
    1. current and past disciplinary actions, such as conditions on, suspension of, and cancellation of registration
    2. grounds for current and past disciplinary actions
    3. pending investigations
    4. findings or outcomes of investigations where allegations have been substantiated
    5. resignation or dismissal from employment.

Recommendations relating to teacher registration were taken into account by the National Review of Teacher Registration. Its report, One Teaching Profession: Teacher Registration in Australia, released in September 2018, made 3 recommendations in relation to improving teacher registers and information sharing in order to strengthen child safety. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Education Council Royal Commission working group is satisfied the National Review’s recommendations address the Royal Commission recommendations on teacher registration.

The Department for Education and the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia are supportive of the activities and milestones put forward recently by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership to progress the recommendations of the National Review related to strengthening children’s safety. The Government of South Australia will continue to engage with states and territories on these recommendations through the COAG Education Council.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

8.10 - Final Report

The COAG Education Council should consider the need for nationally consistent provisions in state and territory teacher registration laws providing that teacher registration authorities may, and/or must on request, make information on teacher registers available to:

  1. teacher registration authorities in other states and territories
  2. teachers’ employers.

See the response to Recommendation 8.9.

As well as the work taking place at the national level relating to the recommendations from the National Review of Teacher Registration, the Government of South Australia is in the process of reviewing the Teachers Registration and Standards Act 2004. This review will consider improved information sharing arrangements  between the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia and other relevant authorities to enable them to share information about teachers relevant to child safety and workforce mobility.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

8.11 - Final Report

The COAG Education Council should consider the need for nationally consistent provisions

  1. in state and territory teacher registration laws or
  2. in administrative arrangements, based on legislative authorisation for information sharing under our recommended information exchange scheme providing that teacher registration authorities may or must notify teacher registration authorities in other states and territories and teachers’ employers of information they hold or receive about the following matters where they relate to allegations or incidents of child sexual abuse:
    1. disciplinary actions, such as conditions or restrictions on, suspension of, and cancellation of registration, including with notification of grounds
    2. investigations into conduct, or into allegations or complaints
    3. findings or outcomes of investigations
    4. resignation or dismissal from employment.

See the response to Recommendations 8.9 and 8.10.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

8.12 - Final Report

In considering improvements to teacher registers and information sharing by registration authorities, the COAG Education Council should also consider what safeguards are necessary to protect teachers’ personal information.

See response to Recommendation 8.9.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Planning

8.13 - Final Report

State and territory governments should ensure that policies provide for the exchange of a student’s information when they move to another school, where:

  1. the student may pose risks to other children due to their harmful sexual behaviours or may have educational or support needs due to their experiences of child sexual abuse and
  2. the new school needs this information to address the safety and wellbeing of the student or of other students at the school.

State and territory governments should give consideration to basing these policies on our recommended information exchange scheme (Recommendations 8.6 to 8.8).

In August 2019 the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 was passed by the South Australian Parliament. This legislation will permit schools, preschools, children’s services and other relevant authorities to share prescribed information that would assist the performance of official functions relating to the education, health, safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child; or to manage any risk to children that may arise as an employer or provider of services.

Where a child is transferring between schools, the legislation will provide for a principal of a school to which a child is to be enrolled to request a report from the principal of the child’s previous school, including information on the academic progress of the child, information relevant to the safety or wellbeing of the child or that may be relevant to the safety or wellbeing of other children or persons at the child’s new school. Principals will be required to provide this information.

The legislation will also require families to provide particular information about their children upon enrolment, and the Chief Executive of the Department for Education can request further information or documents from them.

The Government of South Australia is currently planning for implementation of the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

8.14 - Final Report

State and territory governments should ensure that policies for the exchange of a student’s information when they move to another school:

  1. provide that the principal (or other authorised information sharer) at the student’s previous school is required to share information with the new school in the circumstances described in Recommendation 8.13 and
  2. apply to schools in government and non-government systems.

See the response to Recommendation 8.13. Relevant provisions in the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 apply to both government and non-government schools.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

8.15 - Final Report

State and territory governments should ensure that policies about the exchange of a student’s information (as in Recommendations 8.13 and 8.14) provide the following safeguards, in addition to any safeguards attached to our recommended information exchange scheme:

  1. information provided to the new school should be proportionate to its need for that information to assist it in meeting the student’s safety and wellbeing needs, and those of other students at the school
  2. information should be exchanged between principals, or other authorised information sharers, and disseminated to other staff members on a need-to-know basis.

The Education and Children’s Services Act 2019, as discussed in the response to Recommendation 8.13, includes provisions to ensure that the personal information of children is kept confidential and handled appropriately.

In addition, safeguards are provided for in South Australia's Information Sharing Guidelines for promoting the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and families as well as the Information Privacy Principles Instruction which guides South Australian public sector agencies on the collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal information.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

8.16 - Final Report

The COAG Education Council should review the Interstate Student Data Transfer Note and Protocol in the context of the implementation of our recommended information exchange scheme (Recommendations 8.6 to 8.8).

The Government of South Australia continues to engage with other states and territories on this recommendation through the Council of Australian Governments Education Council.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Education
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

8.17 - Final Report

State and territory governments should introduce legislation to establish carers registers in their respective jurisdictions, with national consistency in relation to:

  1. the inclusion of the following carer types on the carers register:
    1. foster carers
    2. relative/kinship carers
    3. residential care staff
  2. the types of information which, at a minimum, should be recorded on the register
  3. the types of information which, at a minimum, must be made available to agencies or bodies with responsibility for assessing, authorising or supervising carers, or other responsibilities related to carer suitability and safety of children in out-of-home care.

The Department for Child Protection Carer Approval and Review Unit maintains responsibility for approving and reviewing carers, and maintaining information about approved carers on the case management system.

The Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (the Act) enables categories of approved carers to be established consistent with the recommendation. The following categories have been established:

  • foster carers
  • kinship carers
  • specific child only carers
  • family day care (guardianship) carers
  • agency carers

The Act enables the department, responsible for approving carers and for maintaining regulatory oversight of approved carers, to determine information and documents to be submitted with an application for approval, including Working with Children Checks.

State, territory and Commonwealth governments are considering the design and development of nationally consistent carer registers through the Children and Families Secretaries (CAFS) Priority 4 (Child Safety) Working Group. States and territories are participating in a jurisdictional scan of carer registers and carer databases to inform next steps.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: For further consideration

8.18 - Final Report

Carers registers should be maintained by state and territory child protection agencies or bodies with regulatory or oversight responsibility for out-of-home care in that jurisdiction.

See response to Recommendation 8.17.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: For further consideration

8.19 - Final Report

State and territory governments should consider the need for carers registers to include, at a minimum, the following information (register information) about, or related to, applicant or authorised carers, and persons residing on the same property as applicant/authorised home-based carers (household members):

  1. lodgement or grant of applications for authorisation
  2. status of the minimum checks set out in Recommendation 12.6 as requirements for authorisation, indicating their outcomes as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory
  3. withdrawal or refusal of applications for authorisation in circumstances of concern (including in relation to child sexual abuse)
  4. cancellation or surrender of authorisation in circumstances of concern (including in relation to child sexual abuse)
  5. previous or current association with an out-of-home care agency, whether by application for authorisation, assessment, grant of authorisation, or supervision
  6. the date of reportable conduct allegations, and their status as either current, finalised with ongoing risk-related concerns, and/or requiring contact with the reportable conduct oversight body.

See response to Recommendation 8.17.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: For further consideration

8.20 - Final Report

State and territory governments should consider the need for legislative and administrative arrangements to require responsible agencies to:

  1. record register information in minimal detail
  2. record register information as a mandatory part of carer authorisation
  3. update register information about authorised carers.

See response to Recommendation 8.17.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: For further consideration

8.21 - Final Report

State and territory governments should consider the need for legislative and administrative arrangements to require responsible agencies:

  1. before they authorise or recommend authorisation of carers, to:
    1. undertake a check for relevant register information, and
    2. seek further relevant information from another out-of-home care agency where register information indicates applicant carers, or their household members (in the case of prospective home-based carers) have a prior or current association with that other agency
  2. in the course of their assessment, authorisation, or supervision of carers, to:
    1. seek further relevant information from other agencies or bodies, where register information indicates they hold, or may hold, additional information relevant to carer suitability, including reportable conduct information.

State and territory governments should give consideration to enabling agencies to seek further information for these purposes under our recommended information exchange scheme (Recommendations 8.6 to 8.8).

See response to Recommendation 8.17.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: For further consideration

8.22 - Final Report

State and territory governments should consider the need for effective mechanisms to enable agencies and bodies to obtain relevant information from registers in any state or territory holding such information. Consideration should be given to legislative and administrative arrangements, and digital platforms, which will enable:

  1. agencies responsible for assessing, authorising or supervising carers
  2. other agencies, including jurisdictional child protection agencies and regulatory and oversight bodies, with responsibilities related to the suitability of persons to be carers and the safety of children in out-of-home care to obtain relevant information from their own and other jurisdictions’ registers for the purpose of exercising their responsibilities and functions.

See response to Recommendation 8.17.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: For further consideration

8.23 - Final Report

In considering the legislative and administrative arrangements required for carers registers in their jurisdiction, state and territory governments should consider the need for guidelines and training to promote the proper use of carers registers for the protection of children in out-of-home care. Consideration should also be given to the need for specific safeguards to prevent inappropriate use of register information.

See response to Recommendation 8.17.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: For further consideration

9.01 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should fund dedicated community support services for victims and survivors in each jurisdiction, to provide an integrated model of advocacy and support and counselling to children and adults who experienced childhood sexual abuse in institutional contexts.

Funding and related agreements should require and enable these services to:

  1. be trauma-informed and have an understanding of institutional child sexual abuse
  2. be collaborative, available, accessible, acceptable and high quality
  3. use case management and brokerage to coordinate and meet service needs
  4. support and supervise peer-led support models.

The Government of South Australia acknowledges the importance of programs and services for victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

The Attorney-General’s Department is working with the Commissioner for Victims’ Rights to review the South Australian victim support sector and to determine the most effective way to meet these recommendations and deliver the best outcome for victims and survivors.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)
Recommendation progress status: Planning

9.2 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should fund Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing approaches as an ongoing, integral part of advocacy and support and therapeutic treatment service system responses for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. These approaches should be evaluated in accordance with culturally appropriate methodologies, to contribute to evidence of best practice.

The Government of South Australia recognises the importance of culturally appropriate programs and services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. The Attorney-General’s Department is working with the Commissioner for Victims’ Rights to review the South Australian victim support sector and to determine the most effective way to meet these recommendations and deliver the best outcome for victims and survivors.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)
Recommendation progress status: Planning

9.03 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should fund support services for people with disability who have experienced sexual abuse in childhood as an ongoing, integral part of advocacy and support and therapeutic treatment service system responses for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

The Government of South Australia recognises the importance of dedicated support services for victims and survivors with a disability.

The Attorney-General’s Department is working with the Commissioner for Victims’ Rights to review the South Australian victim support sector and to determine the most effective way to meet these recommendations and deliver the best outcome for victims and survivors.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Attorney-General's Department (AGD)
Recommendation progress status: Planning

9.06 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should address existing specialist sexual assault service gaps by increasing funding for adult and child sexual assault services in each jurisdiction, to provide advocacy and support and specialist therapeutic treatment for victims and survivors, particularly victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. Funding agreements should require and enable services to:

  1. be trauma-informed and have an understanding of institutional child sexual abuse
  2. be collaborative, available, accessible, acceptable and high quality
  3. use collaborative community development approaches
  4. provide staff with supervision and professional development.

The functions outlined in this recommendation are currently fulfilled by existing services.

In accordance with the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN) Service Level Agreement the WCHN provides state - wide services including.

  • Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service for people 16 years and above provides specialist therapeutic treatment for victims and survivors across South Australia, including victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse as long as they were 16 years or older at the time of the assault. The service provides advocacy, education; training and sector development to develop a state-wide trauma aware workforce. Building community capacity to respond to and prevent sexual assault through training and education.
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) provide specialist mental health assessment and therapeutic services across South Australia, utilising a bio-psychosocial, developmental and family oriented framework. To infants, children and young people between the ages of 0-18 including children under Guardianship and mothers in the perinatal period, and their families. CAMHS values, respects and undertakes its work within the cultural context of its clients and families.  CAMHS recognises the significant behavioural and emotional impact that complex developmental trauma has upon infants, children and young people. Specialised CAMHS clinicians deliver evidence informed therapeutic interventions to the child, their care environment and the wider systems in the most complex cases. CAMHS also provides early intervention and prevention through consultation and education within the wider community.

The SA Health Child Protection Services (CPS) provide tertiary child protection services within three Local Health Networks: Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN); Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN) and the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN). The three CPS’s are dedicated tertiary trauma specialist services for children, young people and their families who have been referred by the Department for Child Protection (DCP); South Australia Police (SAPOL) and others following suspected or confirmed child abuse and neglect.  The CPSs provide services for all country areas as well as the metropolitan area.

  • The three CPS undertake forensic medical, psychosocial and parenting assessments for children and young people 0-18 where there have been allegations or confirmation of abuse or neglect.
  • The three CPS are comprised of multi-disciplinary teams, including doctors, social workers and psychologists who have specialist knowledge and expertise in trauma, child development and the impact of abuse and neglect on children and young people.  The CPS are underpinned by robust clinical governance structures that involve comprehensive supervision, support and ongoing training/ professional development for staff.
  • The WCHN CPS provides a range of evidenced based therapeutic services to children/young people, in relation to their experiences of abuse, trauma and neglect and has dedicated services to children and young people under Guardianship.
  • From January 2020 the NALHN CPS will provide a range of evidenced based therapeutic services to children and young people, in relation to their experiences of abuse, trauma and neglect inclusive of sexual abuse/assault; physical and/or emotional abuse.
  • The SALHN CPS operates as an acute forensic service offering therapy is in relation to reunification with children and parents in regards to physical abuse/neglect. The SALHN CPS provides a therapeutic reunification service for infants and young children under the age of 5 years and their family by referral where the children are under current Guardianship Orders.

The three CPS recognise and respond to the varying impact of trauma on children, caregivers and those who have contact with the child protection system and utilise this knowledge and skill to help influence and improve organisational culture and assist in the development of policies and practices to ensure they are trauma informed.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing
Recommendation progress status: Planning

9.8 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory government agencies responsible for the delivery of human services should ensure relevant policy frameworks and strategies recognise the needs of victims and survivors and the benefits of implementing trauma informed approaches.

SA Health’s relevant current policy frameworks and strategies align with this recommendation.

The South Australian perinatal practice guidelines are state-wide clinical guidelines published by SA Health that assist perinatal service providers and have been developed in consideration of best available research. The South Australian Perinatal Practice Guideline Trauma Informed Care is intended for use in the identification and support of women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and who are pregnant, giving birth and in the postnatal period.

The Central Adelaide Local Health Network Community Mental Health (CMH) Model of Care (ages 16 – 65) 2019, is a strategic document providing a framework for service delivery. A priority area within the Model of Care (MOC) is for service delivery based on trauma informed approaches to practice. The MOC defines a wide range of events that can potentially cause childhood trauma such as abuse and loss.

Trauma informed care is an integral part of the recovery oriented practices of SA Health mental health services. These services are committed to the training of staff in trauma informed care, delivering evidence based models and to incorporate the principles of safety; trustworthiness; choice, collaboration; empowerment and least restrictive practices as supported by the Mental Health Act 2009 (SA), which form the essential foundation to the trauma informed approach in services.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing
Recommendation progress status: Not yet commenced

9.09 - Final Report

The Australian Government, in conjunction with state and territory governments, should establish and fund a national centre to raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of child sexual abuse, support help-seeking and guide best practice advocacy and support and therapeutic treatment.

The national centre’s functions should be to:

  1. raise community awareness and promote destigmatising messages about the impacts of child sexual abuse
  2. increase practitioners’ knowledge and competence in responding to child and adult victims and survivors by translating knowledge about the impacts of child sexual abuse and the evidence on effective responses into practice and policy. This should include activities to:
    1. identify, translate and promote research in easily available and accessible formats for advocacy and support and therapeutic treatment practitioners
    2. produce national training materials and best practice clinical resources
    3. partner with training organisations to conduct training and workforce development programs
    4. influence national tertiary curricula to incorporate child sexual abuse and trauma-informed care
    5. inform government policy making
  3. lead the development of better service models and interventions through coordinating a national research agenda and conducting high-quality program evaluation.

The national centre should partner with survivors in all its work, valuing their knowledge and experience.

The South Australian Government will engage with other states and territories around this recommendation at the national level.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing
Recommendation progress status: For further consideration

10.1 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should ensure the issue of children’s harmful sexual behaviours is included in the national strategy to prevent child sexual abuse that we have recommended (see Recommendations 6.1 to 6.3).

Harmful sexual behaviours by children should be addressed through each of the following:

  1. primary prevention strategies to educate family, community members, carers and professionals (including mandatory reporters) about preventing harmful sexual behaviours
  2. secondary prevention strategies to ensure early intervention when harmful sexual behaviours are developing
  3. tertiary intervention strategies to address harmful sexual behaviours.

The Commonwealth National Office for Child Safety (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) and the NSW Ministry of Health will co-chair the Inter-Jurisdictional Working Group on Therapeutic Responses for Children with Problematic and Harmful Sexual Behaviours (P&HSB).

SA Health will be represented on the Working Group to progress the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s recommendations relating to therapeutic responses for children with P&HSB.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing
Recommendation progress status: Not yet commenced

10.02 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should ensure timely expert assessment is available for individual children with problematic and harmful sexual behaviours, so they receive appropriate responses, including therapeutic interventions, which match their particular circumstances.

SA Health Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and the SA Health Child Protection Service (CPS) Units provide specialist services through the CAMHS Adolescent Sexual Assault Prevention Program (ASAPP) and the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN) Sexualised Behaviour Treatment service to ensure timely expert assessment; therapeutic interventions and clear established referral pathways are available for individual children with problematic and harmful sexual behaviours, to ensure they receive appropriate individual responses.

CAMHS also provides priority clinical assessment and therapeutic services on the APY Lands for the identified clinical issues of self-harming and suicidal behaviours, sexualised behaviour, sexual assault; the impact of trauma and abuse; parenting; substance abuse.

The WCHN CPS Sexualised Behaviour Treatment service provides therapy to children 2-12 years of age and their families or carers where the major concern is problematic sexual behaviour and where recent sexual abuse has not been confirmed.

Government response: Accepted
Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing
Recommendation progress status: Complete

10.03 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should adequately fund therapeutic interventions to meet the needs of all children with harmful sexual behaviours. These should be delivered through a network of specialist and generalist therapeutic services. Specialist services should also be adequately resourced to provide expert support to generalist services.

The Commonwealth National Office for Child Safety (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) and the NSW Ministry of Health will co-chair the Inter-Jurisdictional Working Group on Therapeutic Responses for Children with Problematic and Harmful Sexual Behaviours (P&HSB).

SA Health will be represented on the Working Group to progress the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s recommendations relating to therapeutic responses for children with P&HSB.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing
Recommendation progress status: For further consideration

10.04 - Final Report

State and territory governments should ensure that there are clear referral pathways for children with harmful sexual behaviours to access expert assessment and therapeutic intervention, regardless of whether the child is engaging voluntarily, on the advice of an institution or through their involvement with the child protection or criminal justice systems.

SA Health continues to work with the Department for Child Protection, the Youth Justice system, Disability Services SA and SAPOL in addressing the needs of children with problematic and harmful sexual behaviour so they receive appropriate responses.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Adolescent Sexual Assault Prevention Program (ASAPP) is a child protection/ crime prevention strategy for preventing child sexual abuse in the community.

ASAPP accepts referrals of adolescents who have sexually abused or offended. Attendance may be voluntary or mandated by court or statutory authority or as part of a formal undertaking in a Family Conference.

Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN) Child Protection Service (CPS) unit Sexualised Behaviour Treatment service provides expert assessment and therapeutic services to children 2-12 years of age and their families or carers where the major concern is problematic sexual behaviour and where recent sexual abuse has not been confirmed.

SA Health Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and the SA Health Child Protection Service (CPS) Units provide specialist services through the CAMHS Adolescent Sexual Assault Prevention Program (ASAPP) and the Women’s and Children’s health Network (WCHN) Sexualised Behaviour Treatment service to ensure timely expert assessment; therapeutic interventions and clear established referral pathways are available for individual children with problematic and harmful sexual behaviours, to ensure they receive appropriate individual responses.

Government response: Accepted
Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing
Recommendation progress status: Complete

10.05 - Final Report

Therapeutic intervention for children with harmful sexual behaviours should be based on the following principles:

  1. a contextual and systemic approach should be used
  2. family and carers should be involved
  3. safety should be established
  4. there should be accountability and responsibility for the harmful sexual behaviours
  5. there should be a focus on behaviour change
  6. developmentally and cognitively appropriate interventions should be used
  7. the care provided should be trauma-informed
  8. therapeutic services and interventions should be culturally safe
  9. therapeutic interventions should be accessible to all children with harmful sexual behaviours.

The Commonwealth National Office for Child Safety (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) and the NSW Ministry of Health will co-chair the Inter-Jurisdictional Working Group on Therapeutic Responses for Children with Problematic and Harmful Sexual Behaviours (P&HSB).

SA Health will be represented on the Working Group to progress the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommendations relating to therapeutic responses for children with P&HSB.

Current practice in South Australia is consistent with this recommendation.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is a state-wide service of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN), SA Health.

CAMHS Adolescent Sexual Assault Prevention Program (ASAPP) follows the 2010 National Standards for Mental Health Services which align with this recommendation.

The CAMHS KATU (Kunpungku Atunymankunytjaku Tjitji Uwarkara) provides therapeutic interventions on the APY Lands to children, young people, families and communities to respond to complex emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties, and also responds to problem sexualised behaviour, sexual abuse and sexually abusive behaviours.

The three SA Health Child Protection Services undertake forensic medical, psychosocial and parenting assessments for children and young people 0-18 years where there have been allegations or confirmation of abuse or neglect.

The WCHN Child Protection Service (CPS) Sexualised Behaviour Treatment Program provides therapy to children under 12 who display problematic sexualised behaviour and their carers/parents. This therapeutic work involves schools, child care centres, DCP residential care facilities and other relevant services. The Sexualised Behaviour Treatment program provides consultation and training to health professionals, DCP workers, schools and other relevant agencies.

WCHN CPS provides a forensic psycho-social assessment and therapeutic service for children less than 12 years of age and their families on the APY lands who are displaying severe problematic sexualised behaviour. CPS provides a fly in-fly out service to undertake this work.

Government response: Accepted
Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

10.06 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should ensure that all services funded to provide therapeutic intervention for children with harmful sexual behaviours provide professional training and clinical supervision for their staff.

The Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN), Child Protection Service (CPS) unit’s Sexualised Behaviour Treatment service and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service’s (CAMHS) Adolescent Sexual Assault Prevention Program (ASAPP) and services to the APY Lands services provide robust systems of clinical accountability, within trauma informed approaches through supervision within and across disciplines, provided by experienced and approved practitioners.

Formal multidisciplinary case reviews are undertaken to assess care plans, formulations, address risk, and progress quality assurance.

These services are provided with professional training in the provision of therapeutic interventions for children with harmful sexual behaviours.

Government response: Accepted
Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing
Recommendation progress status: Complete

10.07 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should fund and support evaluation of services providing therapeutic interventions for problematic and harmful sexual behaviours by children.

The Commonwealth National Office for Child Safety (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) and the NSW Ministry of Health will co-chair the Inter-Jurisdictional Working Group on Therapeutic Responses for Children with Problematic and Harmful Sexual Behaviours (P&HSB).

SA Health is in the process of nominating representatives to join the Working Group to progress the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommendations relating to therapeutic responses for children with P&HSB.

Government response: For further consideration
Lead agency: Department for Health and Wellbeing
Recommendation progress status: Planning

12.01 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should develop nationally agreed key terms and definitions in relation to child sexual abuse for the purpose of data collection and reporting by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Productivity Commission.

The Government of South Australia has been working with other jurisdictions through the Children and Families Data Network (CAFDaN) to develop a nationally consistent definition for child sexual exploitation at a national level. CAFDaN is an interjurisdictional working group reporting to the Children and Families Secretaries (CAFS) Group. A proposed definition is currently being finalised.

How this definition/data is captured, and the feasibility for jurisdictional reporting against this definition is still being considered.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Planning

12.02 - Final Report

The Australian Government and state and territory governments should prioritise enhancements to the Child Protection National Minimum Data Set to include:

  1. data identifying children with disability, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  2. the number of children who were the subject of a substantiated report of sexual abuse while in out-of-home care
  3. the demographics of those children
  4. the type of out-of-home care placement in which the abuse occurred
  5. information about when the abuse occurred
  6. information about who perpetrated the abuse, including their age and their relationship to the victim, if known.

All governments across Australia have committed to prioritising enhancements to data collection and reporting. This will improve national reporting on children in out-of-home care, including:

  • better identifying children with a disability to ensure they and their carers have access to appropriate support and services
  • improving data about Aboriginal children to inform initiatives to reduce the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children and families involved in the child protection system and to allocate resources to support connection to culture, community and country
  • reporting the number of children who were subject to a substantiated report of sexual abuse while in out-of-home care, including the demographics of those children, to inform future policy.

Each state and territory will release this data to be published in the Child Protection Australia 2019-2020 report, which will then be published on an annual basis. Following these data enhancements, jurisdictions will work to improve the identification of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

12.03 - Final Report

State and territory governments should agree on reporting definitions and data requirements to enable reporting in the Report on Government Services on outcome indicators for ‘improved health and wellbeing of the child’, ‘safe return home’ and ‘permanent care’.

The Government of South Australia has been working with other jurisdictions to agree on reporting definitions to enable reporting on outcome indicators for health and wellbeing and permanent care.

Consideration is still being given to the feasibility of an improved health and wellbeing of the child report and indicators. The implications of the differences between each jurisdiction’s information management systems and service delivery contexts are impacting the feasibility of this work.

Though endorsement of the Permanency Outcomes Performance Framework is still pending, a Permanency Indicators Report has been developed from the existing Child Protection – National Minimum Data Set and is due for release during 2020.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Planning

12.04 - Final Report

Each state and territory government should revise existing mandatory accreditation schemes to:

  1. incorporate compliance with the Child Safe Standards identified by the Royal Commission
  2. extend accreditation requirements to both government and non-government out-of-home care service providers.

The new Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017, came into full effect on 22 October 2018, and strengthens South Australia’s licensing scheme for residential facilities, and incorporates child safe environments.

While the scheme does not apply to residential care facilities delivered directly by the Department for Child Protection (DCP), all DCP residential facilities must comply with child safe requirements under the new Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.

These requirements align with the Child Safe Standards outlined by the Royal Commission.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Complete

12.05 - Final Report

In each state and territory, an existing statutory body or office that is independent of the relevant child protection agency and out-of-home care service providers, for example a children’s guardian, should have responsibility for:

  1. receiving, assessing and processing applications for accreditation of out-of-home care service providers
  2. conducting audits of accredited out-of-home care service providers to ensure ongoing compliance with accreditation standards and conditions.

South Australia’s current out-of-home care licensing regime is managed by the Department for Child Protection (DCP).

Under the Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016, the Guardian for Children and Young People and several other bodies advocate on behalf of children in out-of-home care and provide a level of oversight, including monitoring of residential care and conducting visits to residential care facilities.

Government response: Not accepted
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Not accepted

12.06 - Final Report

In addition to a National Police Check, Working With Children Check and referee checks, authorisation of all foster and kinship/relative carers and all residential care staff should include:

  1. community services checks of the prospective carer and any adult household members of home-based carers
  2. documented risk management plans to address any risks identified through community services checks
  3. at least annual review of risk management plans as part of carer reviews and more frequently as required.

A range of screening, assessments and training are provided to help ensure carers are authorised and appropriate to look after children.

All adult members of the carer’s household must undergo a working with children check to provide care in their own home.

In instances where a child is placed into temporary care, usually in an emergency or under urgent circumstances, the placement is limited to three months while the department progresses a more permanent arrangement. Temporary carers must undergo a police records check and care concern check. To be eligible to continue caring for the child or young person, a working with children check must be completed.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Complete

12.07 - Final Report

All out-of-home care service providers should conduct annual reviews of authorised carers that include interviews with all children in the placement with the carer under review, in the absence of the carer.

The Department for Child Protection (DCP) Carer Approval and Review Unit is responsible for approving and reviewing carers, and maintaining information about approved carers, including on the case management system. The unit works closely with the department’s contracted non-government organisations, Placement Services Unit and Kinship Care Program regarding carer reviews and assessments.

DCP is considering ways to strengthen the voice of the child and continue to improve the carer authorisation processes.  Initial work has commenced to consider the Winangay Carer Review tools for use in kinship carer annual reviews.

DCP currently provides Viewpoint, an online survey that enables children in care to express their views, concerns and opinions about their experiences and wellbeing.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

12.08 - Final Report

Each state and territory government should adopt a model of assessment appropriately tailored for kinship/relative care. This type of assessment should be designed to:

  1. better identify the strengths as well as the support and training needs of kinship/relative carers
  2. ensure holistic approaches to supporting placements that are culturally safe
  3. include appropriately resourced support plans.

The Winangay Aboriginal Kinship Carer Assessment Tool is being implemented as the practice approach for the initial temporary placement of Aboriginal children and as part of the full carer assessment for carer approval.  A regional approach is being taken to train workers to implement Winangay.

Work has commenced to consider the Winangay Carer Review tools for use in kinship carer annual reviews.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

12.09 - Final Report

All state and territory governments should collaborate in the development of a sexual abuse prevention education strategy, including online safety, for children in out-of-home care that includes:

  1. input from children in out-of-home care and care-leavers
  2. comprehensive, age-appropriate and culture-appropriate education about sexuality and healthy relationships that is tailored to the needs of children in out-of-home care
  3. resources tailored for children in care, for foster and kinship/relative carers, for residential care staff and for caseworkers
  4. resources that can be adapted to the individual needs of children with disability and their carers.

The Government of South Australia has a range of programs that provide age appropriate education to children and young people. The ‘Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum’ has been offered in schools since 2008, teaching children to recognise and report abuse, including sexual abuse. In addition, context specific programs and resources are offered in out-of-home care settings.

South Australia will contribute its learnings and resources to state and territory governments who may be developing similar programs.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

12.10 - Final Report

State and territory governments, in collaboration with out-of-home care service providers and peak bodies, should develop resources to assist service providers to:

  1. provide appropriate support and mechanisms for children in out-of-home care to communicate, either verbally or through behaviour, their views, concerns and complaints
  2. provide appropriate training and support to carers and caseworkers to ensure they hear and respond to children in out-of-home care, including ensuring children are involved in decisions about their lives
  3. regularly consult with the children in their care as part of continuous improvement processes.

Children's participation in decision-making processes and the expression of their views are strengthened in the new Children and Young Person (Safety) Act 2017.

The Department for Child Protection (DCP) provides Viewpoint, an online survey that enables children in care to express their views, concerns and opinions about their experiences and wellbeing.

Following consultation with children, young people and key stakeholders, DCP, the CREATE Foundation and the Guardian for Children and Young People have developed a range of resources to provide information and tools to assist children to raise issues that concern them. These were designed to convey the 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 DCP and to complain or seek help in relation to their rights using other pathways. The resources include posters, booklets and videos, with two different versions developed for children under 12 and young people over 12 years of age.

Further to this, the 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.

DCP continues to work with the non-government sector to develop a shared training calendar to improve carer’s access to core training. Non-government organisations and departmental staff are provided with information and training about the impact of trauma and abuse on child development and on safety planning and case work with children displaying sexualised behaviours and complex needs/challenging behaviours.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

12.11 - Final Report

State and territory governments and out-of-home care service providers should ensure that training for foster and relative/kinship carers, residential care staff and child protection workers includes an understanding of trauma and abuse, the impact on children and the principles of trauma-informed care to assist them to meet the needs of children in out-of-home care, including children with harmful sexual behaviours.

The Department for Child Protection (DCP) provides training to all residential care staff on child development, attachment and trauma.

Each year, DCP invites an internationally renowned trainer to host workshops on working with children, young people and their families where there are concerns about sexual abuse and inappropriate or harmful sexual behaviours. As well as residential care staff, matching and allocation staff are attending this training in October 2019 to ensure the learnings are holistically reflected across the department.

In addition, all contracted service providers must provide specialised therapeutic training for carers who provide care to children and young people with disability, behavioural complexity or special needs. The department’s service specifications include a training clause that service providers must make relevant training courses available to consolidate and improve knowledge, develop skills, promote wellbeing and address identified issues, including trauma and abuse.

Work continues through the Carer Recruitment and Retention Taskforce to trial a shared training calendar for foster, kinship and specific child only carers to ensure consistent access to core training.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

12.12 - Final Report

When placing a child in out-of-home care, state and territory governments and out-of-home care service providers should take the following measures to support children with harmful sexual behaviours:

  1. undertake professional assessments of the child with harmful sexual behaviours, including identifying their needs and appropriate supports and interventions to ensure their safety
  2. establish case management and a package of support services
  3. undertake careful placement matching that includes:
    1. providing sufficient relevant information to the potential carer/s and residential care staff to ensure they are equipped to support the child, and additional training as necessary
    2. rigorously assessing potential threats to the safety of other children, including the child’s siblings, in the placement.

A joint Interagency Therapeutic Needs Panel (ITNP) pilot project has commenced between the Department for Health and Wellbeing (SA Health) and DCP. The ITNP provides high level therapeutic planning and case direction for children in care who are presenting with complex and specialised circumstances and have therapeutic care needs.

DCP continues to take steps to improve its processes for matching children with carers.

The Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (the Act) requires carers to be provided with sufficient information about a child, prior to and during their placement, to enable the carer to best meet the needs of the child.

The Act also recognises the critical role carers play and has improved the ways in which carers may contribute to decisions about the health, safety and wellbeing of children in their care. Carers are entitled to participate in regular care team meetings, attend annual reviews, and share their views around contact arrangements between a child and their family.

DCP will continue to work to ensure carers are well informed, trained and supported to respond to the different developmental needs of children placed with them and manage difficult situations and challenging behaviour, including through its contracts with non-government out-of-home care service providers.

The Carer Recruitment and Retention Taskforce, which is a working group between DCP and non-government organisations, has mapped the training available to foster carers and will develop a shared training calendar to improve access of training to carers.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

12.13 - Final Report

State and territory governments and out-of-home care service providers should provide advice, guidelines and ongoing professional development for all foster and kinship/relative carers and residential care staff about preventing and responding to the harmful sexual behaviours of some children in out-of-home care.

See response to recommendation 12.13.

Government response: Accepted in principle
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

12.14 - Final Report

All state and territory governments should develop and implement coordinated and multi-disciplinary strategies to protect children in residential care by:

  1. identifying and disrupting activities that indicate risk of sexual exploitation
  2. supporting agencies to engage with children in ways that encourage them to assist in the investigation and prosecution of sexual exploitation offences.

A range of work and strategies continue to be implemented to address this recommendation. These include:

  • the use of an electronic observation logging system to record observations of children and young people to increase safety and oversight in placements
  • regular unannounced facility visits
  • increased accessibility of child and youth workers to receive support from senior staff and mobile response teams
  • a revised Care Concern model, which is in its final stages of development.

Government response: Accepted
Lead agency: Department for Child Protection (DCP)
Recommendation progress status: Implementing

Page last updated: 5 December 2019