Legislative Council: Tuesday, August 29, 2023


Children in State Care

In reply to the Hon. C. BONAROS ().28 June 2023).

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

The Guardian for Children and Young People has produced various reports. It is assumed that the questions are in reference to her report on the Productivity Commission's Report on Government Services, May 2023.

The state government is determined to implement change that begins to improve the child protection and family support system in ways that make a lasting, positive difference in the lives of children. To do so requires a collaborative effort across government, community and the sector. We are working to empower and harness that collective effort.

The state government is investing in the child protection and family support system with approx. $372 million committed since coming to government.

We are taking direct action in a range of ways, including, but not limited to:

Increasing investment in family supports such as intensive family services and family group conferencing.

Expanding family group conferencing, particularly for Aboriginal children and young people.

Expanding family reunification efforts.

Improving governance and advocacy structures through establishing a child protection expert group, carer council, lived experience group and CE governance group and continuing with existing groups.

Investing in CREATE and continuing with No Capes for Change to amplify the voices of children and young people with a care experience.

Establishing a peak body for Aboriginal children and young people.

Increasing investment in kinship care assessments.

Supporting non-government organisations delivering services.

Increasing foster and kinship carer payments from 1 July 2023 and improving access to respite care.

Progressing other major reforms through increased investment, legislative change, practice improvements and enhanced governance and advocacy mechanisms across the child protection and family support system.

The Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 was reviewed last year and early this year with over 900 people engaging. Further consultation on legislative change will be undertaken and a bill will be introduced to parliament following this further consultation.