1 December, 2016The Guardian for Children and Young People Amanda Shaw has welcomed the Government’s announcements and additional investment in response to the Nyland Royal Commission Report.
‘These undertakings, if carried through, will mark a significant breakthrough in promoting the wellbeing of all children in our state and meeting the needs of those in need of protection’, she said.
‘The changes in legislation and practice to make us listen to and act on the voices of children should produce a profound change in the way we work with them.
‘I am pleased to see the restoration of the Charter of Rights to the proposed new child safety legislation and look forward to considering other aspects of the Bill over the next few weeks.
‘Promoting partnerships, networks and collaboration gives me hope that at last we will end the inter-agency disagreements, indifference and mis-information that so often blighted our efforts to assist our most vulnerable young people.
‘A new Department for Child Protection where planning, evidenced based decision making, collaboration and transparency flourish will be a great starting point for building a genuinely child-focussed protection system.
‘The promised early intervention with vulnerable families offers us the opportunity to keep more children safe without removing them from their families if the work is thoroughly done and well-resourced.
‘While this will help in the long run, we urgently need to address the dire situation of young people in emergency care and large-scale residential care. Our Office’s experience tells us that even more are unhappy, fearful and vulnerable to abuse than when Commissioner Nyland drafted her report.
‘Recognition of the particular needs of children and young people of Aboriginal heritage, those with disabilities and those from culturally diverse backgrounds is welcome. To address them will a need long-term commitment and ongoing investment even beyond what Commissioner Nyland has recommended.
‘The promised improvements to services for young people leaving care will start to bring South Australia in line with comparable communities in recognising that the transition to adulthood extends well beyond the current cut-off date of 18 years. The state must take seriously its role as a parent for many of the young people in its care well into their mid-twenties and beyond.’
For more details of the Guardian’s analysis and expectations from the Nyland Royal Commission Report read the Child protection reform checklist – December 2016.
You can also download a copy of this text as a PDF in media release format.