Tag Archives: child protection

Closing the kiddy fiddler loophole

By 31 October 2013

The ABC has the concerning news that we’re finally ending pedo friendly legal provisions:
Under law changes introduced in 1951 and 1976, sex offences against children had to go before the courts within 12 months.
It means sex offenders who committed crimes against teenage girls between 1951 and 1985 and boys between 1976 and 1985 can not [...]

Joy Burch claims progress on child protection

By 15 August 2013

Minister for Children Joy Burch has announced she’s got a crucial box tick in the review of the ACT’s Care and Protection Services:
A 12-month independent review of the ACT’s Care and Protection Services has been completed with the final quarterly report providing a strong endorsement of progress made, Minister for Children and Young People Joy [...]

Taking away too many children? Or not doing a good enough job of it?

By 7 August 2013

The ANU is making an unusual entry to the child protection debate savaging both the numbers of children in care in the ACT and the shoddy care provided.
In the ACT alone, up to 600 children live in out-of-home care arrangements. Many lead unsettled lives – some move up to 30 times before they turn 18.
For [...]

Child protection research

By 3 July 2013

Child protection has been a troubling issue in the ACT, but today Joy Burch has announced funding for some research into how it can be done better:
The Institute for Child Protection Studies will look at new ways to improve contact between children in out-of-home care and their birth parents thanks to a $560,000 grant over [...]

Are Canberra’s indigenous kids the worst?

By 30 April 2013

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare have released Youth justice in Australia 2011–12: an overview and for better or worse kids in Canberra seem to be spending more time in care than elsewhere, with our indigenous numbers particularly striking.
In general Tasmania seems to lock up children the most, but why are we next?

ACT arrest in Nationwide child abuse bust

By 15 March 2013

An online network of child predators allegedly involved in sharing child exploitation material has been exposed. There have been 20 arrests this week, one of which was in the ACT.
The investigation, codenamed “Operation Conqueror”, began in January this year when the AFP identified a number of individuals using a peer-to-peer file sharing network with [...]

Care and protection in the ACT a mess

By 7 March 2013

The Auditor-General has announced the first report of 2013 Care and Protection System.
The report is vast, and the conclusions lengthy.
But it appears we don’t know where the children are, or how they are.
It is, apparently, hoped that things are getting better, but we can’t know that either.

UPDATE: Joy Burch is taking a glass half full [...]

One week to submit your thoughts to the gubmint on the Royal Commission into Child Abuse

By 20 November 2012

The Government isn’t making it too clear how it is going about putting together the Royal Commission into Child Abuse. For the benefit of Canberrans who would like to, or feel they should,  make a submission to inform the secretariat BEFORE they set up and freeze the framework, the deadline is 26 November – just [...]

Provide services to vulnerable children? Time to get your skates on

By 7 November 2012

Justice and Community Safety are warning that a new background checking scheme is coming into force:
The Commissioner for Fair Trading, Brett Phillips, is reminding employees and volunteers who provide regulated services to children that, while the scheme begins on 8 November 2012, they have 12 months to register, until 7 November 2013.
“Everyone has the right [...]

Greens explain that Joy’s doing enough on Child Protection

By 5 June 2012

The Greens’ Meredith Hunter has gone into bat for Community Services Minister Joy Burch and explained why they voted confidence in her handling of Child Protection.
“It remains to be seen if this Minister can match the funding with leadership, and implement lasting reforms that will address the issues highlighted in the Public Advocates report.
“There have [...]

Will the Greens have confidence in Joy Burch?

By 5 June 2012

The Liberals’ Vicki Dunne has announced she’s moving No Confidence in the Community Services Minister Joy Burch after some pretty horrible neglect of children in care has come to light.
“In 2004 the Vardon Report found children were in a ‘system which has been failing, staff with workloads that simply could not be met, adversarial attitudes [...]

Public advocate savages child protection again

By 31 May 2012

The Liberals’ Vicki Dunne is once again making hay from the public advocate’s assessment of the minor matter of child protection.
Under Joy Burch as Minister, the Public Advocate today found that:
– ‘Front line staff within the Care and Protection Service…were battling against systems that failed to support them…. (p8)
– ‘…lack of proper recording of the [...]

Michael Watt found dead

By 8 May 2012

The ABC is reporting that Michael David Watt has been found dead.
Michael David Watt, 25, from Conder had been charged with four acts of indecency, two sex acts and one count of using the internet to deprave young people.
All charges involved a 12-year-old boy who was in the man’s care between November 16, 2011, [...]

Liberals the answer to child protection woes?

By 6 January 2012

The Liberals’ Vicki Dunne is making hay from the latest in a long line of reviews into child protection in the ACT:
As the ACT Labor Government launches yet another review into care and protection, it is clear that the only way to fix the systems entrenched problems is through a change of government, according [...]

A decade of child protection recommendations to roll out next year

By 20 December 2011

Joy Burch has the thrilling news that next year she’s going to implement the recommendations from Youth and Family Support Reviews conducted in 2002, 2004 and, wait for it, 2009.
“The changes are aimed at strengthening referral pathways and developing more flexible and responsive services, Ms Burch said.
“Importantly, services will be evidence based. We will see [...]

Vicki strikes back on child protection

By 14 December 2011

This morning Joy Burch announced that *only* 3% of children in protection hadn’t been sighted by a case worker in the last year. This is after they went through the paperwork to figure out the right number.
The Liberals Vicki Dunne reckons this is a cold comfort:
Instructions from Joy Burch that her Directorate should keep better [...]

Joy Burch says “Liberals misrepresented child protection report”

By 14 December 2011

In November the Liberals’ Vicki Dunne claimed that 59% of young people in care had not been seen by their own caseworkers in over a year, based on Annual Review Reports for 202 young people and children.
Joy Burch is now assuring us that this is a misrepresentation of reports that weren’t intended to be used [...]

Children? You want me to deal with children? The caseworkers lament

By 24 November 2011

The Liberals’ Vicki Dunne has brought more bad news on the child protection front:
Fifty nine per cent of young people in out-of-home care may not have been physically sighted by their caseworkers in a year, the ACT Public Advocate highlighted yesterday in an Assembly Committee Annual Reports hearing.
“During 2010-11, the Public Advocate examined 371 annual [...]

Joy Burch responds to the Public Advocate over child protection

By 21 November 2011

In the wake of the recent child protection debacle the Minister for Community Services, Joy Burch, has announced her response to the Public Advocate’s report.
The ACT Government will establish a group home and reception centre to minimise the disruption for children being placed in emergency out-of-home care, introduce a new decision-making review panel for decisions [...]

Handing vulnerable kids over to the uncertified not against the law

By 15 November 2011

The child protection saga has been one of the more jaw dropping examples of governance in Canberra of recent times.
The public advocate claimed the Children and Young People Act 2008 was breached when vulnerable children were handed over to a provider that lacked appropriate certification and kept the children in some sort of unheated dungeon [...]

Reporting on Children

By 19 October 2011

Somewhat intriguingly Community Services have decided now is a good time to email media outlets in this town with suggestions on “Reporting of children’s proceedings and the law”.
As a representative of a media organisation you should be aware of various laws which make it illegal to identify – either directly or indirectly – children or [...]

Zed twists the knife on child protection

By 19 October 2011

Liberal Leader Zed Seselja is stepping up for a swing at the Joy Burch pinata:
In a slap in the face to the families left traumatised by the mismanagement and illegal actions of Joy Burch’s directorate, Katy Gallagher today effectively dismissed those concerns and proven illegality and backed her Minister by saying “in terms of her [...]

600 days waiting for payment from Community Services

By 19 October 2011

Vicki Dunne’s pursuit of Joy Burch continues this morning with an examination of the service providers waiting to be paid for their important work with vulnerable children:
“Joy Burch wrote to me asking for details about my comments about her Directorate’s payment issues, instead of seeking this basic information from the Directorate itself,” Mrs Dunne said [...]

Canberrans treating children badly

By 18 October 2011

A recurring theme of the ACT Government is the startling capacity to smugly sleepwalk into atrocity.
The public advocate’s review of the Emergency Response Strategy for Children in Crisis in the ACT highlights that tendency:
Unfortunately, this Interim Report will reveal that unlike the analogy of planning for disasters, when it comes to children [...]

Dunne wants an inquiry into child protection

By 21 September 2011

Liberal Vicki Dunne is calling for openness from the investigation into child protection in the ACT.
“I’m very glad to see this review is going ahead after Joy Burch’s disgraceful treatment of vulnerable children who were forced into accommodation with no beds, hot water, or heating and glass on the floor,” Mrs Dunne said.
“But what [...]

The Burch v. Dunne child protection privacy Deathmatch

By 20 September 2011

Last week the Liberals’ Vicki Dunne stole a march on Labor’s Joy Burch revealing lapses in child protection protocols which sparked an investigation.
But there was some backstory we didn’t think was particularly relevant at the time.
The Liberal head flack Hannah Passfield sent us copies of Ms Dunne’s correspondence with the media release, which we duly [...]

Child protection. Vicki Dunne provides context.

By 14 September 2011

Following this morning’s surprise announcement that an investigation into the placing of children into care in the ACT was both needed and now underway, the Liberals’ Vicki Dunne has weighed in with some back story:
“I wrote to Joy Burch raising serious concerns with her Directorate?s dealings with a service provider, which were a possible breach [...]

Outsourcing vulnerable children to be investigated

By 14 September 2011

In what looks like a serious development Joy Burch has announced an investigation into Care and Protection Services and their engagement of placement services for children in the care of the Territory.
Ms Burch said the Directorate only recently notified her of the potential breach of the Act, and as a result Ms Burch has ordered [...]

Six year transition for carer background checks

By 2 August 2011

Joy Burch is declaring a milestone in the long march to bring in background checks for people working or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults.
ACT Minister for Community Services Joy Burch today announced the Government had secured the approval of the Mental Health Coalition ACT and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Association ACT, who [...]

ACT Children’s Plan

By 19 June 2010

The ACT Children’s Plan 2004-2014 has been updated and relaunched as the ACT Children’s Plan 2010-2014.
(You can read the plan here). The Children’s Plan is all about what Canberra needs to do to be a child-friendly city.
A big chunk in the middle of the report, with lots of “Key Actions” listed, is just a re-publish [...]

Are we protecting the children or the Government?

By 11 March 2009

The ABC has a story on worries that new laws in the ACT, ostensibly protecting children’s privacy, could be used by the Government to cover its arse when it’s failing those children.
The laws stop media outlets identifying children subject to a protection order or legal proceedings even after they have died.
The media industry’s [...]

ACT wants to keep child protection power

By 3 July 2008

The SMH is reporting that the The ACT government wants to retain responsibility for managing child protection services, despite a recent case of young children found living in squalor in a Canberra suburb.
The matter is likely to be discussed at Thursday’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting of federal, state and territory leaders in Sydney.
“Child [...]

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