I have had the privilege recently of hearing the views of many people with great expertise and wisdom on the topic of safe keeping. Safe keeping is the statutory confinement in a specific location of a child or young person where no offence has been committed but they are detained because their safety and wellbeing is at substantial risk.
- Improved intensive therapeutic services for children in existing residential and family-based care, including those in youth training centres.
- Improved development opportunities and supervision for children in residential care including a higher staff to resident ratio.
- Protective behaviours training and sexual health education available to all residents of residential facilities.
- Smaller numbers of children accommodated in the residential facilities, from the 10-12 now to a maximum of six.
- Greater control over admission to residential facilities to enhance resident cohesion and the therapeutic environment, and clearer definition of purpose of each unit.
- Introduction of a strategy for assisting children with high and complex needs which recognises the need for intensive and highly-skilled case management and therapeutic care.
- An outreach service that locates, engages with and supports children who are missing from placement or who are putting themselves at high risk.
- Amendment to the Summary Procedures Act to restrain adults who exploit children by offering them shelter, drugs, or other goods in return for sexual favours.