The draft Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Bill 2016 is relevant to the current and ongoing operations of the Office of the Guardian for Children and Young People and its ability to work in the interests of children and young people in state care and custody.
In her September 15, 2016 submission the Guardian identified the following key issues to be addressed in the draft Bill:
- how the continued independence and autonomy of the Guardian will be affected by the relationship of the role with that of the proposed Commissioner for Children and Young People
- adequate and guaranteed staff and resources, especially the need to ensure the Guardian’s autonomy by addressing the Bill’s omission of Section 52B of the Children’s Protection Act 1993 which specifically references the need for the Minister to provide the necessary staff and resources
- the centrality of the rights of children and young people, in particular the need to retain the statutory recognition of the Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care
- the process to support the effective ‘voice’ and participation of children and young people in strategic, policy or systemic practice development or review processes not limited to the establishment of a standing committee structure.
- with regard to the creation and/or continuation of the four entities1 the articulation of guiding principles, the need for an Objects statement and the delineation of the roles and relationships
- the need to consider further what moving from the Children’s Protection Act 1993 might mean with respect to some of the strategic imperatives underpinning that Act, for example the dislocation from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle context
- the need to ensure that the transition has due regard for the full range of elements that are essential to maintain the autonomy of the Guardian’s role.
You can download the Guardian’s submission.
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1 The Commissioner for Children and Young People, the Guardian for Children and Young People, the Child Development Council and the Child Death and Serious Injury Committee.