The Commission for Children and Young People
The Commission for Children and Young People has been established to promote continuous improvement and innovation in:
- policies and practices relating to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people generally, and in particular those who are vulnerable
- the provision of out of home care services for children.
The Commission acts with independence and impartiality, demonstrating integrity and respect.
News and events
Child Safe Standards information sessions: businesses and organisations that work with children
Information sessions will be held in September and October.
Child Protection Week 4 – 10 September 2016
The Commission recognises the very important work of individuals and organisations who work with vulnerable children, young people and their families.
This work can be difficult, but it can also be very rewarding. It is important to shine a light on what many people are doing to protect children and young people.
The Commission recognises the contributions made by people through two awards delivered at the Robin Clark Awards:
- Modelling a Generous Community Award - for meaningfully connecting vulnerable children to their local community
Vincent Shin (In-house lawyer, The Grange P-12 College, Hoppers Crossing)
- Walda Blow Award - for contributing to the safety and well-being of Aboriginal children and young people
Carmen Miller and Terry Foley (Ballarat & District Aboriginal Cooperative).
Commission to conduct an inquiry into the permanency amendments
The Commission will soon commence an inquiry into the permanency changes arising from the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Permanent Care and Other Matters) Act 2014. The changes took effect in March 2016, and the inquiry will examine the evidence available after the first six months of their operation to consider whether the amendments are improving permanency for children and young people and whether they have lead to unintended consequences.
NT footage reminds us the end result of a ‘tough on crime’ approach to children
The stories about the abuse of children in custody in the Northern Territory are devastating. The footage aired last Monday night showed children being tear-gassed without cause, a child stripped naked and held down by multiple adult men, and the same child left hooded and restrained for hours in the kind of contraptions we associate with Guantanamo Bay.
These images have shocked us to the core, and rightly so.
Reflections On National Reconciliation Week 2016
National Reconciliation Week marks a definitive time where non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal people come together as a nation, strive to correct the errors of the past and learn more about our shared cultures.
Getting tough is not the answer
The past week has seen a resurgence of calls to get tough on children and young people who break the law. Prompted by new bail laws for under eighteen year olds that took effect on Monday, we have heard dire warnings: we are going ‘soft’ on young offenders; we’re in the midst of a ‘youth crime wave’; community safety will suffer. There have even been calls to step back in time and start dealing with sixteen and seventeen year olds under the adult criminal justice system.
Announcement: State budget
The Commission for Children and Young People is pleased to note a number of commitments intended to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people in today’s state budget.
The $168 million investment to support the ‘Roadmap for Reform’ policy directions in child protection will support greater emphasis on prevention and early intervention, a focus the Commission has long advocated.
Announcement: statement on Roadmap for Reform
The state government this month launched its Roadmap for Reform, promising “once in a generation” changes to improve support for children and families.
A new principal commissioner begins
We welcome Liana Buchanan, the new Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People.
Lawyer and advocate, she is a part-time commissioner with the Victorian Law Reform Commission and was most recently the Executive Officer of the Federation of Community Legal Centres. She has also been responsible for monitoring the Victorian corrections system as Director, Office of Correctional Services Review and has held legal and policy positions in a number of agencies including the Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria, Office for the Status of Women (SA) and Women’s Legal Service (SA).
Child Safe Standards
The Commission is now responsible for assisting Category 1 and 2 organisations that need to be compliant with the new mandatory child safe standards:
- Phase 1: Organisations that provide services for children that are government funded and/or regulated are required to work towards compliance from 1 January 2016.
- Registered schools have until 1 August 2016 to be compliant with the standards.
- Phase 2: Other organisations that provide services for children are required to comply from 1 January 2017.
Royal Commission into Family Violence (Victoria)
We welcome the report of the Commission and its focus on children. In particular, that intervention systems for children will be strengthened as well as responses for Koori women and children.
Our core functions include:
- Providing advice to Ministers, Government Departments, health services and human services relating to the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people.
- Promoting the interests of vulnerable Victorian children and young people.
- Conducting inquiries into service provision or omission in regard to:
- children who have died and were known to child protection at the time of their death or 12 months before their death
- the safety and wellbeing of an individual or group of vulnerable children and young people
- a health service, human service or school where there are persistent or recurring systemic concerns.
For more detailed information about the Commission's functions, see Legislation and Policy