26 September 2023

Progress made in bid to beat child abuse

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The fourth Annual Progress Report on the State’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has found that significant progress has been made.

Tabled in Parliament, the report shows that relevant Agencies have completed a further 16 new recommendations against the 310 the State Government is responsible for.

In total, 143 recommendations have now been completed just four years into the 10-year implementation plan, with substantial progress made against the remaining recommendations.

Minister for Child Protection, Simone McGurk said progress achieved in the past year included the significant step of passing the Children and Community Services Amendment Act 2021.

“This legislation delivered on the commitment to require ministers of religion to report child sexual abuse, including when information is gained during religious confession,” Ms McGurk said.

“Safety of children is at the heart of the mandatory reporting reforms and will better protect children by increasing the number of people who are legally required to report child sexual abuse.”

She said the changes also extended mandatory reporting to include early childhood workers, out-of-home care workers, registered psychologists, school counsellors and youth justice workers.

“Assessors who visit residential care and secure care facilities, and all officers of the Department of Communities, will also be required to report child sexual abuse,” Ms McGurk said.

“To support those aims, the Department is implementing an online mandatory reporter training program to assist new reporters in understanding their role and requirements.”

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