Legislative Council: Tuesday, February 06, 2024


Child Protection

In reply to the Hon. S.L. GAME ().16 November 2023).

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

1. Should I reintroduce my bill and will the government now support it, and if not, why not?

The Child and Young Person's Visitor plays an important oversight and advocacy role for children and young people in residential care.

Following the completion of a trial visitor program in September 2019, the previous government did not commit any funding to the role of Child and Young Person's Visitor. Our government has funded the visitor role with $1.87 million over four years.

2. How is the department responding and what specifically is the range of proactive measures aiming to prevent self-harm and drug use affecting children and young people in care?

Children and young people living in care have often experienced trauma, disrupted relationships and role modelling of maladaptive behaviours, which can significantly affect their emotional and psychological wellbeing. These experiences can lead to particular risky behaviours.

Children and young people in care require nurturing and supportive environments, in order to begin healing.

The Department for Child Protection's trauma informed practice approach and sanctuary model support the understanding and application of a trauma lens to all aspects of professional and organisational practice. Safety of all children and young people is the paramount consideration for the department. The department has a number of supports, therapeutic programs and tools to support the needs of children and young people in care.

The Department for Child Protection works collaboratively and in partnership with stakeholders including Child Adolescent Mental Health Services, Headspace, Youth Mental Health Services, Urgent Mental Health Care Centre and DASSA, helping to ensure that any child or young person in care can access appropriate and timely support as needed.