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Legislation and policy

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Legislation

Commission for Children and Young People Act 2012 ('the Act')

Commencing on 1 March 2013 the Act provides for the establishment of a Commission for Children and Young People and its functions and powers.

The Act repeals and re-enacts with amendments some provisions previously contained in the Child Safety and Wellbeing Act 2005 relevant to the previous functions of the Child Safety Commissioner.

The Commission for Children and Young People is constituted by the Principal Commissioner. The Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister may appoint a person to be an additional Commissioner. A Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People is to be the first additional Commissioner.

Objective

The objective of the Commission is 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; and
  • the provision of out-of-home care services for children.

Functions

Under Section 8 of the Act the Commission must act independently and impartially in performing its functions. When performing those functions relating to vulnerable children and young people these functions must be performed for the purpose of promoting their best interests.

The Commission's functions include:

  1. providing advice to Ministers, Government Departments, health services and human services about policies, practices and the provision of services relating to the safety or wellbeing of vulnerable children and young persons
  2. promoting the interests of vulnerable children and young people in the Victorian community
  3. monitoring and reporting to Ministers on the implementation and effectiveness of strategies relating to the safety or wellbeing of vulnerable children and young persons
  4. providing advice and recommendations to the Minister about child safety issues, at the request of the Minister
  5. promoting child-friendly and child-safe practices in the Victorian community
  6. annually reviewing and reporting on the administration of the Working with Children Act 2005, and in consultation with the Secretary to the Department of Justice, to educate and inform the community about that Act
  7. promoting the provision of out of home care services that encourage the active participation of those children in the making of decisions that affect them, advising the Minister and Secretary on the performance of out of home care services and at the request of the Minister, investigating and reporting on an out of home care service
  8. conducting inquiries into the services provided or omitted relating 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 or young people; and
    • a health service, human service or school where there are persistent or recurring systemic issues and a review done within the Commission's resources would assist in the improvement of the provisions of those services to either an individual or group of vulnerable children and young people
  9. any other functions given to the Commission by the Act or any other Act.

Vulnerable children and young people

Section 5 of the Act defines vulnerable children and young persons to include:

  • a child or young person who is or was a child protection client
  • a youth justice client
  • a person attending a youth justice unit on an order from the Children's Court
  • a child who is receiving or who has received services from a registered community service
  • a child whose primary family carer is receiving or has received services from a registered community service
  • a child who has died from abuse or neglect
  • a person under the age of 21 years who is leaving, or who has left, the custody or guardianship of the Secretary to live independently.

Download the Act

Download icon Commission for Children and Young People Act 2012 (PDF document located on legislation.vic.gov.au)

Policies

(Contact us to receive these documents in an accessible format)

Child Safe Policy

The Commission for Children and Young People is committed to providing a child safe and child friendly environment, where children and young people with whom we have contact are safe and feel safe, and able to actively participate in decisions that affect their lives. Its Child Safe Policy applies to the Commissioners, staff, contractors, volunteers and authorised persons engaged by the Commission.

Download icon Child Safe Policy (630kb, pdf)

Child Safe Code of Conduct

The Commissioners, staff, contractors, volunteers and authorised persons engaged by the Commission are required to comply with the organisation’s Child Safe Code of Conduct by observing expectations for appropriate behaviour.

Download icon Child Safe Code of Conduct (970kb, pdf)