Protecting vulnerable children: A national challenge

Protecting vulnerable children: A national challenge

17 March 2005

© Commonwealth of Australia 2005
ISBN 0 642 71493 2

View the report as a single document - (PDF 1545KB)


View the report as separate downloadable parts:

Membership of committee (PDF 75KB) (HTML format)
Recommendations (PDF 96KB) (HTML format)
 
Chapter 1 - Introduction (PDF 232KB) (HTML format)
Terms of reference
Conduct of Inquiry
Responses by some Churches and agencies to Forgotten Australians
 
Anglican Church
  Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
  Benevolent Society
  Uniting Church in Australia
Further information on matters discussed in Forgotten Australians
 
Legacy homes and repatriation wards
  Statutes of limitation
  Mothers and children in institutional care
  Recruitment into religious orders
  Experimentation on children in care
Perspectives of institutional and out-of-home care
Recent reports on the care and protection of children in out-of-home care
  NSW - Care and support: final report on child protection  services
  South Australia - Our best investment: A state plan to   protect and advance the interests of children
  South Australia – Children in State Care: Commission of Inquiry
  Queensland - Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions
  Queensland - Protecting Children: An inquiry into abuse of children in foster care
  ACT - The rights, interests and well-being of children and young people
  ACT - The Territory as Parent
  Tasmania - Review of claims of abuse from adults in state care as children
  Western Australia - Gordon Inquiry re Family Violence and Child Abuse in Aboriginal
  Communities
  Summary
Conclusion
 
Chapter 2 - Contemporary framework for child protection  - Structure, services and processes (PDF 375KB) (HTML format)

Introduction
Legal and government framework for child protection
  Commonwealth's role in child protection
     Family Law
     International agreements and treaties
     Funding of programs
  State and Territory child protection
  Conclusion
Child protection processes
  Notifications, investigations, substantiations, mandatory reporting
     Number of notifications and substantiations of child abuse
  Care and protection orders
     Numbers of children on care and protection orders – Australia
  Mandatory reporting
  Government funding – care and protection of children
  Conclusion
Children's commissioners, children's advocates, children's guardians, etc
  State and Territory children's commissioners
     New South Wales
     Queensland
     Tasmania
     Victoria
     South Australia
     Australian Capital Territory
     Western Australia
  Children's guardians and other offices
     Children's guardian - New South Wales
     Guardian for children and young people – South Australia
     Advocate for Children in Care - Victoria
     Office of the Public Advocate – Queensland
     Office of the Adult Guardian – Queensland
     Office of the Community Advocate – Australian Capital Territory
  Commonwealth, State and Territory Ombudsman Offices
     New South Wales
     Australian Capital Territory
  Comment on the operation of some offices
Government and non-government child protection services
  Early intervention to assist families, children and young people
  Commonwealth Government programs and services
  State and Territory Government and non-government programs and services
  Effectiveness of programs and services
  Conclusion
National approach
  Practical division of responsibilities
  National legislation
  National Plan for Foster Children, Young People and their Carers
  National Framework for Preventing Family Violence and Child Abuse in Indigenous
  Communities
  A national commissioner for children and young people
  Conclusion

 
Chapter 3 - Out-of-home care - Foster children (PDF 302KB) (HTML format)

Introduction
Moves from children's institutional care to foster care
Contemporary out-of-home care
  Types of out-of-home care
  Conduct of out-of-home care
  Numbers and characteristics of children in out-of-home care
  Reasons why children enter out-of-home care
Issues facing out-of-home care
  Systems decisions that affect children
  Input by children
  Children with high-care needs
     High costs of care for children with emotional or behavioural problems
  Abuse and treatment of children in foster care
  Multiple placements
  Indigenous children
  Children returning from out-of-home care to abusive situations
  Children and young people leaving foster or out-of-home care
Conclusion  

 
Chapter 4 - Out-of-home care - Foster carers (PDF 218KB) (HTML format)

Introduction
Caregivers
  Number of caregivers
  Foster parents – support for, recruitment, retention, training
  Foster care payments
  Departmental staff and foster carer contact
  Ratio of workers to numbers of children in care
Checks and monitoring of staff working with children and young people
  Monitoring of staff/following up allegations – out-of-home care
  Governments' laws and policies – accreditation and screening
  Effectiveness of screening processes
Allegations of abuse against foster carers
Conclusion

 
Chapter 5 - Children and young people with disabilities in care (PDF 288KB) (HTML format)

Introduction
Children and young people with disabilities
  Types of disability
  Accommodation options
  Permanency planning
  Numbers of children and young people with disabilities
Legislative and government framework – for children and young people with disabilities
  Anti discrimination legislation
  CSTDA and associated legislation and policies
  United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  State and territory disability departments' programs
Issues raised in the inquiry
  Standards and laws in practice
  Problems with deinstitutionalisation
  Family care (permanency planning) versus institutional care
  After-care options and assistance
  Measures to support deinstitutionalisation and permanency planning
  Non-government and government assistance measures
     Funding and income supports for children with disabilities
     Need for apology to children and young people with disabilities
  Initiatives suggested by organisations
  Vulnerability of children and young people with disabilities
     Examples of abuse in care
Conclusion
  Need for family support and assistance
  Consideration of legislative and policy issues
  Deinstitutionalisation assistance
  

 
Chapter 6 - Children and young people in juvenile justice and detention centres (PDF 196KB) (HTML format)
Children and young people in juvenile justice centres
  Legislative framework
  Children and young people in the juvenile justice system
     Numbers and background of children and young people in detention
     Experiences of children and young people prior to detention
     Indigenous children and young people in juvenile justice centres
     Children and young people with disabilities in juvenile justice centres
     Longer term health issues
  Treatment of children and young people in detention
     Experiences of children and young people in detention
  Prevention and support measures for children and young people
  Intervention Programs
     Diversionary, restorative justice and conferencing programs
     Restorative justice and conferencing - effectiveness
Conclusion
Children and young people in immigrant detention centres
 
Chapter 7 - The future for care leavers (PDF 162KB) (HTML format)

Introduction
National approach to tackling child abuse
  Cooperative approaches
  Research
  The value of children
  Public awareness and education - child abuse
Conclusion

 
Appendix 1 (PDF 64KB) (HTML format)
List of public submissions, tabled documents and other additional information
authorised for publication by the committee
 
Appendix 2 (PDF 473KB) (HTML format)
Apologies

For further information, contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia

Phone: +61 2 6277 3515
Fax: +61 2 6277 5829
Email: community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au

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