Review into residential care placement decisions report released
A report on the placement decisions made for children with harmful sexual behaviours in residential care has been tabled in Parliament by the Commissioner for Children and Young People.
Commissioner Colin Pettit said he has made recommendations on what is required to ensure that the rights of all children and young people in care are upheld every day and that responses to children and young people with harmful sexual behaviours are strengthened.
“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and other previous inquiries have consistently highlighted the vulnerability of children and young people to abuse and harm in institutional settings and the unique barriers they face in speaking up and seeking help,” Mr Pettit said.
The Commissioner has made six findings on systemic issues related to the wellbeing of children and young people in residential care and made nine recommendations, three to the Minister for Child Protection and six to the Department of Communities.
The recommendations, listed in full within the report, cover:
• implementation of Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommendations
• providing comprehensive specialist services to children and young people in care who experience or exhibit harmful sexual behaviours
• establishing an independent advocacy function for children and young people in care
• implementing a framework to guide the Department’s responses to children and young people with harmful sexual behaviours
• resourcing, mandating and delivering harmful sexual behaviours training for all staff working directly with children in residential care
• commissioning the scoping of work to implement an information management system fit for the functions of the Department.
The Commissioner has a legislated function to advocate for all WA children and young people and to give priority to the interests and needs of children and young people who are vulnerable.
Mr Pettit acknowledged the Minister for Child Protection the Hon Simone McGurk MLA’s support of the Review and the cooperation of Department of Communities and non-government care sector staff.
This report contains information some may find distressing or uncomfortable. If you experienced abuse as a child or young person at home or in care, it may be a difficult reading experience. If you find the report's content distressing, please seek support. If you are not sure how or where to access support, contact the Commissioner’s office for assistance.