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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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?
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.