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Significant issues

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse continues to highlight the need for greater attention to the risk of harm to children and young people attending organisations and activities outside of the home. The Commissioner’s Child Safe Organisations project is leading the implementation of principles and practices that reduce the risk of harm occurring and improving the identification and response to harm where it does occur. This state-wide project will continue with a program of seminars in metropolitan and regional areas.

Engagement in education

The capacity to engage well in learning and achieve positive outcomes in education is central to the wellbeing of children and young people. The Commissioner’s project on engaging in education will investigate children and young people’s views on factors that influence their engagement in education and provide quantitative and qualitative data to influence policy and program development and a benchmark for future monitoring.  

Growing number of Aboriginal children and young people in youth justice and out-of-home care systems

The growing number of Aboriginal children and young people in the youth justice and out-of-home care systems remains a significant issue. The significant proportion of Aboriginal children and young people in regional and remote areas requires greater attention to engaging and supporting children and young people beyond the metropolitan area. The voices of these vulnerable children and young people will be used to better direct policy and programs to improve outcomes.

Social media

The impact of social media continues to be a source of concern in relation to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. The Commissioner’s Thinker in Residence program for 2016−17 will bring together experts to consider the potential impacts, both positive and negative, of the role of social media in working with children and young people.

Future projects

Priorities for 2016–17 include reporting back to the community on the outcomes from consultations with children and young people in the youth justice and out-of-home care systems and a consultation with students from around the state on school and learning. Further work around vulnerable children and young people and the factors impacting on their wellbeing, such as the court system and homelessness, will be undertaken in the coming year.