the Commonwealth Government consider the designation of a year as the National
Year Against Child Abuse in Australia.
State and Territory Governments consider reviewing the effectiveness of
mandatory reporting in protecting and preventing child abuse, and in conducting
such a review, they particularly focus on the successes of the various options
used in care and protection systems, in comparison with mandatory reporting.
as recommended in Forgotten Australians,
the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments establish courses of study at
selected tertiary institutions that focus on child protection and related
issues, especially early childhood and family studies, psychology, conflict
management, the impact of institutional care and social policy, to address
issues in these areas. [Rec 39 in Forgotten Australians]
awareness of child protection issues, the effects in the longer term for a
child or young person in care and related issues be included as components of
teacher education courses conducted at the tertiary level.
Commonwealth review the level of the Transition to Independent Living Allowance
(TILA) to ensure that it is adequate to meet the needs of young people leaving
Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments consider new models for the
schooling and education of children in out-of-home care, particularly children
who have been classified as high-risk children, for example, schooling by
specialist teachers trained in both education and child psychology.
the strengthening of case management under the National Plan be progressed as a
matter of priority, in particular to attempt to limit the turnover of
caseworkers for children in out-of-home care.
the introduction of national standards for transition planning, particularly
when leaving care, under the National Plan be implemented as a matter of
the National Plan for Foster Care, Young People and their Carers be extended to
include the following:
- Training –
- investigate the implementation of national carer specific accredited
training qualifications, for example, through Vocational Education Training;
- Uniform Data Collection –
- collection of data on the carer cohort;
- examine ways of improving carer support including national standards for
reimbursement of costs to cover the real costs of caring and payment of
- examine ways of improving foster carer retention; and
- develop models of response to allegations of abuse against foster carers
and workers based on international best practice including articulation of
the State and Territory Governments consider the information in this report and
use as a base on which to assist in providing more flexibility in accommodating
and caring for children with disabilities, particularly where families can have
their children at home. Such considerations would include an examination of a
mix of living arrangements such as institutional care combined with options for
children to return to families at particular times; week-day residential
schools; and other options including various combinations of living at home
with families, residential and respite care and foster care, along with a mix
of carers and support. Where required, options could include the use of
high-level residential care facilities and highly-trained professional staff
and with an emphasis on ensuring that where necessary, the quality of care and
actions of the staff are monitored.
State and Territory Governments enlist the expertise of policymakers in
disability and other areas of social policy when formulating laws for children
and young people with disabilities, so that legislative provisions take account
of the special needs of children and young people with disabilities and are
broad ranging in their application, including in relation to residential
facilities and services for children with a disability as well as to the
actions of advocates and advocacy services.
the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments examine ways to break down
the barriers to legal assistance for children and young people with
disabilities and their families; make the law more easily understood for such
groups; and harness the expertise of practitioners in social policy and other
disciplines to formulate laws to better serve all people with disabilities.
the Australian and/or State Law Reform Commissions conduct research among legal
practitioners to ascertain their knowledge and expertise in areas of disability
and the law. The outcome of such research would highlight the need to introduce
measures to educate lawyers so that they are better able to advise clients
about laws affecting the lives of people with a disability, particularly in
explaining the impact of certain legislative provisions and common law
decisions for children and young people with disabilities. Such investigation
might also include examining ways to encourage legal practitioners to offer pro bono services to children and young
people with disabilities, who cannot afford legal fees.
where applicable, all jurisdictions amend their Disability Services Acts to ensure that terms relating to people
with a disability, specifically include children and young persons, as well as
adults. This may require additions to legislation to include principles and
applications for children and young people with a disability.
the Commonwealth Government encourage the New South Wales Government to take
note of the evidence presented to this inquiry and proclaim ss.155 and 156 of
the Children and Young Persons' (Care
& Protection) Act 1998, so that all children with disabilities in care,
including those who have been voluntarily placed, have broad-ranging
legislative protection and monitoring of their care.
the Commonwealth Government take note of the merits of restorative justice
programs in helping to keep young people out of the juvenile justice system
(and later gravitation to the adult prison system), and increase its
involvement, support and funding for such programs, to ensure that the coverage
of such programs across Australia is wider than is presently the case. It is
recommended that the Commonwealth Government introduce restorative justice
programs that would assist in reducing the high numbers of indigenous youth in
juvenile justice centres.
Commonwealth establish a national commissioner for children and young people to
drive a national reform agenda for child protection. In doing so, the national
- bring together all stakeholders, including the States and Territories,
child protection professionals and researchers and peak organisations, to
establish an agenda for change including the identification of key areas of
- encourage the development of innovative models within the child protection
- encourage State and Territory Governments to work toward harmonising child
protection legislation, including agreement on common definitions.
the Commonwealth engage the Productivity Commission to undertake an evaluation
of out-of-home care to better determine the real costs to the community of