NPM Joint Statement – Queensland law change and detention of children in watch houses and adult prisons
6 September 2023
Australia’s National Preventive Mechanism – including Training Centre Visitor, Shona Reid, as a nominally appointed member – have released a joint statement on changes to Queensland laws allowing indefinite detention of children in police watch houses and adult prisons.
Children and young people in detention in South Australia facing serious human rights breaches
22 June 2023
Guardian for Children and Young People and Training Centre Visitor, Shona Reid, holds grave concerns that the basic human rights of children and young people detained in Adelaide’s Youth Justice Centre are not being upheld.
16 June 2023
South Australia – over time – has not invested adequately in early intervention and family support services and we now bear the consequences with children, young people and families missing out on vital services, and increasing pressure on the child protection system to step in at critical points.
ACCG Statement in response to commentary about child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory
21 April 2023
As a collective group of National, State and Territory Commissioners, Guardians and Advocates, our singular focus is to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. We are concerned that recent commentary and assertions about child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory is lacking a considered, evidence-based mindset. The politicisation of the issue of child sexual abuse and the lives of First Nations children leaves us deeply concerned.
ACCG Support for the Uluru Statement
13 April 2023
As Australian Children’s Commissioners, Guardians and Advocates, we unequivocally provide our support to the full implementation of the Uluru Statement. This reaffirms our enduring commitment to the promotion and protection of the rights of all children and young people in Australia.
Inaugural meeting of First Nations children’s commissioners and guardians identifies key advocacy priorities
15 February 2023
Last month, First Nations Children’s Commissioners, Guardians and Advocates throughout Australia came together as a group for the very first time in Brisbane, on Yuggera and Turrbul country.
Advocacy requests for children and young people living in state care at all time high
17 November 2022
The Guardian for Children and Young People’s 2021-22 Annual Report has revealed that South Australians are requesting advocacy for children and young people in state care at a higher rate than ever.
Mounting pressures in Kurlana Tapa creating serious concerns for detainees
3 November 2022
For the second year in a row, the Training Centre Visitor report has identified that conditions in Kurlana Tapa Youth Justice Centre are taking a serious toll on the health and rehabilitation of the children and young people detained there.
Incarceration of children as young as 10 years of age in Australian youth detention centres is a national shame
27 October 2022
The Children’s Commissioners and Guardians of Australia have urged the federal, state and territory governments to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility.
Child protection and youth justice failing children caught up in two systems – 7 July 2022
The Office of the Guardian for Children and Young People’s latest report calls for immediate action to end the systems abuse affecting some of South Australia’s most vulnerable children and young people.
South Australia’s spending high as reliance on residential care continues – 5 July 2022 (updated 18 July 2022)
South Australia’s reliance on residential care continues to be the highest across Australia, effectively double the national average.
Children and young people in fear of their safety while in state care – 18 November 2021
Safety and stability remain the top presenting issues from children and young people living in South Australia’s child protection system.
Proposal to raise the age does not go far enough – 15 November 2021
All 15 of Australia’s children’s commissioners, guardians and advocates say a commitment by state attorneys-general to develop a proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 12 does not go far enough.
Residential care contributing to ‘criminalisation’ of young people – 14 October 2021
A new report from the Office of the Guardian for Children and Young People has found South Australia’s highly stressed child protection system is contributing to increased involvement in the youth justice system by some children and young people in care.
Number of Aboriginal children and young people in care worsens as SA set to fall short on Closing the Gap target – 13 May 2021
A new report released by the Office of the Guardian for Children and Young People states that just over one in every 11 Aboriginal children in SA is living in state care.
Cost of child protection in SA again climbs higher than national average – 1 April 2021
South Australia continues to be the second highest spender on child protection services per child and spends considerably less on preventative and family support services than any other jurisdiction across the nation.
Guardian highlights the need for an urgent response as UN criticises Australia’s failure to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility – 22 January 2021
Penny Wright, South Australia’s Guardian for Children and Young People and Training Centre Visitor, has called on the South Australian Government to urgently raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years.
Guardian reports that safety of children in care continues to be of great concern – 1 December 2020
For the third consecutive year, the Guardian for Children and Young People Annual Report states that safety and stability in care continues to the biggest advocacy issue raised by children and young people in care, with the highest number of concerns coming from those living in residential or commercial care.
Calls for youths in detention to receive better trauma-informed support to address complex needs – 12 November 2020
A year of reforms and achievements has seen more humane and respectful experiences for children and young people detained in SA’s only youth detention centre yet concerns for their wellbeing remain.
Routine semi-naked searches to cease at Kurlana Tapa Youth Justice Centre – 5 August 2020
Penny Wright, Guardian for Children and Young People and Training Centre Visitor congratulates the Minister and the Department for Human Services on the commencement of use of full body scanners at Kurlana Tapa Youth Justice Centre.
Training Centre Visitor disappointed 10-year-olds to remain in detention – 28 July 2020
Training Centre Visitor and Guardian for Children and Young People Penny Wright is disappointed at the Council of Attorneys-General’s decision to not raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility.
Great responsibility. Whose responsibility? – 23 July 2020
The first formal inspection of South Australia’s only youth justice detention centre has found that the potential for rehabilitation is undermined by inadequate resourcing and a correctional environment.
Training Centre Visitor congratulates Government on ban of spit hoods – 1 July 2020
Penny Wright, Training Centre Visitor, congratulates the Government on the absolute ban on the use of spit hoods at Kurlana Tapa Youth Justice Centre (previously the Adelaide Youth Training Centre) as of 1 July 2020
In the news
Spike in ‘serious’ child protection abuse reports – InDaily (22 November 2022)
Detained children locked in cells with junk food – InDaily (4 November 2022)
Child protection system should be ‘tipped upside-down’ – InDaily (13 September 2022)
‘Beyond distressed’: One Nation call to increase child protection funding – InDaily (4 August 2022)
Taking steps towards a genuine ‘new path’ – InDaily (1 August 2022)
Adelaide’s youth detention centre is not a ‘new path’ but a dead end – InDaily (29 July 2022)
The guardian – InDaily: Notes on Adelaide Podcast (29 July 2022)
New SA child protection watchdog appointed – InDaily (8 July 2022)
‘Huge concern’: SA child offenders held in adult cells – InDaily (7 July 2022)
SA Govt to ‘turn its mind to’ raising criminal age from 10 – InDaily (10 May 2022)
‘More than just blood’: Call to keep SA siblings together in care – InDaily (26 April 2022)
‘Open for scrutiny’: Govt reinstates child protection watchdog – InDaily (13 April 2022)
Call to rehabilitate SA prison system – InDaily (12 April 2022)
Detained children receiving ‘pitiful’ mental health support – InDaily (19 November 2021)
Child offenders detained in adult holding cells – InDaily (19 October 2021)
Controversial SA youth drug laws set to come into force – InDaily (30 September 2021)
Pioneer kids’ advocate quits over no funding – The Advertiser (26 August 2021)
Child protection watchdog resigns due to lack of funding – InDaily (25 August 2021)
Children in care left waiting in SA youth detention – InDaily (22 June 2021)
SA youth detention centre upgrade on track – InDaily (4 June 2021)
Commissioner warns MPs against Port Lincoln death inquiry – InDaily (25 May 2021)
“Disturbing” rate of SA Aboriginal children sent to court – InDaily (14 May 2021)
Indigenous care crisis – The Advertiser (14 May 2021)
Aboriginal children entering state care in SA at ‘worsening rate’, data shows – ABC News online (13 May 2021)
Call to increase age of criminal responsibility – The Advertiser (16 April 2021)
SA undecided on lifting criminal age from 10 as protestors rally for change – InDaily (15 April 2021)
State Government proposes changes to make adoption from state care easier – The Advertiser (27 March 2021)
Kids say youth prison better than state care – The Advertiser (22 March 2021)
Saving our at-risk kids – The Advertiser (20 February 2021)
Guardian calls for monitoring power, funding after child protection scandal – InDaily (19 February 2021)
Child Protection Minister Rachel Sanderson goes on the attack after inquiry reveals five girls in state care were pregnant – The Advertiser (17 February 2021)
Call to delay controversial SA youth drug program – InDaily (10 February 2021)
Renewed push to lift criminal age in SA after UN grilling – InDaily (22 January 2021)
Warning that SA youth drug program could breach detainees’ human rights – InDaily (12 January 2021)
Penny Wright: Across the years, Kelly has seen other kids arrive and leave, reunified with their families – The Advertiser (23 December 2020)
“Limited evidence” to support controversial SA youth drug program – InDaily (18 December 2020)
Independent Review: The State Government will conduct an independent review into the sexual abuse of two teenage girls in state care – Ten News Adelaide (11 December 2020)
“Serious systemic failings” in Child Protection Dept’s handling of sexual abuse – InDaily (2 December 2020)
Guardian for Children and Young People’s report raises concerns about sex abuse – The Advertiser (1 December 2020)
SA’s “hidden plague” of incarcerated children – InDaily (13 November 2020)
Motel, hotel no-vacancy rule for at-risk children – InDaily (29 October 2020)
Guardian also kept in dark about abused girl in care – InDaily (22 September 2020)
Scanners to reduce searches – The Advertiser (5 August 2020)
Minimum crime age disappoints – The Advertiser (29 July 2020)
Move to lift criminal age on hold as SA waits for national decision – InDaily (28 July 2020)
Landmark report details experiences of young people detained at Adelaide Youth Training Centre – ABC News online (25 July 2020)
“Troubling” NAPLAN participation rate among SA children in care – InDaily (3 July 2020)
State Govt to review use of force, isolation in youth detention – InDaily (11 June 2020)
SA looks interstate to improve care for Aboriginal children – InDaily (21 May 2020)
‘Appalling’ rate of Aboriginal kids in care – The Advertiser (13 May 2020)
Vulnerable children must be able to attend school: guardian – InDaily (6 April 2020)
New child abuse claims about former Families SA staff – InDaily (7 February 2020)