Significant issues impacting the agency
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Monitoring and supporting the implementation of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse remains a focus of the office. The Commissioner will continue to promote the use of child safe policies and practices to WA organisations through the Child Safe Organisations WA resources and supporting agencies to implement appropriate responses to harmful sexual behaviours in children and young people.
Speaking Out Survey
The 2019 Speaking Out Survey identified several areas of concern, including the wellbeing of female and Aboriginal students, mental health and safety. The Commissioner will continue to conduct detailed analysis of these areas, and further research has been undertaken to compare the data on female wellbeing with similar studies conducted in other states and countries.
Fieldwork is complete for the 2021 Speaking Out Survey, which will provide comparative data to the first Speaking Out Survey in 2019. More than 15,000 children and young people from all regions of WA have shared their views on their health, wellbeing, community in which they live, as well as any ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional survey fieldwork will be conducted in the second half of 2021 with grant funding from Lotterywest to reach children outside of mainstream education, including students with special needs and those in remote communities.
The Commissioner aims to establish the Speaking Out Survey as an ongoing method of hearing directly from children and young people about their wellbeing over time.
Wellbeing Monitoring Framework
The Commissioner will continue to investigate and report on key aspects of WA children and young people’s wellbeing based on outcomes described in the Wellbeing Monitoring Framework.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose potential risks and the Commissioner will continue to evaluate and respond to these in line with current WA Government and health authority recommendations. The 2021 Work Plan was adjusted to contribute to the WA Government’s COVID-19 recovery and has adapted to working with WA children and young people and stakeholders using online platforms if and when needed. All staff have been provided with suitable equipment to work from home if and when required. The Commissioner has implemented all the controls suggested by the Department of Health.