26 September 2023

Child abuse report in its 4th year

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The Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs’ fourth annual report into the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been tabled in Parliament.

The report outlines the work being done to prevent institutional child sexual abuse, protect children and support people with lived experience of child abuse.

Minister for Children, Leanne Linard said at the heart of these reforms were the lived experiences of the people who had come forward to share their experiences — “Queenslanders who are making a difference in the lives of children today”.

The report shows that 183 of the 317 recommendations directed to the Queensland Government, either in full or in part, by the Royal Commission had been completed.

Ms Linard said the report outlined these significant accomplishments; many of which were the culmination of several years of work and collaboration.

“All Queensland adults now have the responsibility to report child sexual offending to police. Institutions must protect children from child sexual offences after new criminal laws came into effect last year,” Ms Linard said.

“Amendments to the Child Protection Act 1999 were introduced to strengthen children’s rights and voices. Work is also under way to develop a new stand-alone program tailored to support the needs of families caring for family members.”

She said the Government was continuing its commitment, in partnership with Family Matters Queensland, to the Our Way: A Generational Strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families 2017-2037 .

“Our investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services is increasing. This culturally-safe support is available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families and is diverting them from the child protection system,” the Minister said.

”We are ensuring people with lived experience of institutional child sexual abuse have access to justice and healing through the National Redress Scheme.”

She also noted that the Department of Education had developed Online Safety in Queensland Schools to help guide schools, students, parents, and the community on how to keep young people safe online.

“Our work does not stop here. We will continue to build on what has been achieved over the past four years,” Ms Linard said.

The Department’s annual report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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