26 September 2023

Child Protection laws to be reviewed

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The State Government chose last week’s National Child Protection Week to launch a full review of the Children and Young People Safety law, offering the community the chance to help making it better.

The Government said the review will be informed by feedback from key stakeholders including children and young people, carers, families, non-Government and Government partners, advocacy groups, the academic sector and those with direct experience in the system.

It said the new review would provide an opportunity to rigorously examine and improve the central legislative framework through which SA’s child protection system operates.

“It is the opportunity to re-define what our child safety responses look like going forward, to deliver on our commitments to Aboriginal children and young people and to make sure we have the legal frameworks in place that reflect community values and expectations,” the Government said in a statement.

The review was welcomed by the Minister for Child Protection, Katrine Hildyard who said building an improved child protection system for the future required amplifying the voices of those at its centre and engaging the broader community in public discussion.

“This review is a significant undertaking and we are committed to doing what we can to get it right so that South Australian children have the best chance of being raised in an environment they deserve – safe, nurturing, stable and secure,” Ms Hildyard said.

“(It) gives us the opportunity to do so and with one in three South Australian children notified to the child protection system before they are 18, do so we must,” she said.

She said a key priority of the review will be to work with Aboriginal stakeholders to deliver on the Government’s commitment to fully embed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle.

“I encourage anyone who wants to provide feedback on the legislation to do so through the channels available over the next 10 weeks,” Ms Hildyard said.

“This review represents a crucial and potentially transformative moment to better respond to the complex and deeply interconnected issues facing families and the child protection system and in doing so, improve children’s lives.”

She said the review would help ensure the State had the right settings in place to prioritise responses to children and young people at risk of harm and to place their safety at the centre of decision-making.

The review is open on the YourSAy online with a series of metropolitan, regional and Aboriginal focussed consultation sessions to be held during September and October.

Further information about the review can be accessed at this PS News link with the final contributions to be made on Friday 4 November and a final report on 26 February 2023.

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