Legislative Council: Tuesday, November 29, 2022


Child Protection

In reply to the Hon. S.L. GAME ().19 October 2022).

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries): The Minister for Child Protection has advised:

1. The government of South Australia is firmly committed to a whole-of-government, whole-of-sector and whole-of-community effort to help keep children safe and to support families.

Within weeks of coming to government, it became clear child protection had been underfunded. The Malinauskas Labor government allocated an additional $128.9 million plus $7.5 million in the first budget. We are progressing changes and making investments focused on doing more towards helping children, young people and families to access support.

We have commenced the process of reviewing the Children and Young People (Safety) Act to improve the legislation that efforts in the child protection system, with broad community consultation underway.

There are a range of activities we are undertaking to improve the child protection system. The final report on the three-year whole-of-government child protection strategy, Safe and well: Supporting families, protecting children, was tabled in parliament by the Minister for Child Protection on 3 November 2022. This document provides an across-government summary of child protection activities undertaken in 2021-22, overseen by the Child Protection Reform Portfolio Management Board comprising chief executives and senior officials.

Building on the reforms captured in the report, work is underway to develop a new whole-of-government child protection strategy that will set out priorities, services and initiatives to deliver a stronger child protection system for the future.

We are also working at a national level to develop action plans under the national child protection framework, to bring to life the shared vision and objectives for reform to the child and family services system to improve the safety and wellbeing of children and families. Safe and Supported: the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2021-31 's first action plans are expected to be launched in early 2023.

2. Child protection is a shared responsibility across the whole of government and all ministers have a role in the work required to make improvements and to drive a collective effort across government departments, the sector and the community.