Australia's children: safe and well: a national framework for protecting Australia's children: A discussion paper for consultation


In light of the unacceptable and increasing numbers of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect, the Australian Government has committed to developing a national framework for protecting children, and has released this discussion paper to canvass ideas on what should be included. Child abuse and neglect cannot be easily disentangled from issues such as poverty, homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, mental health issues and social isolation. Understanding the ways these factors inter-relate and developing strong connected solutions require the effort and attention of all levels of government, non-government organisations providing key services and support for families, and the broader community. This will form a key part of the Australian Government’s new social inclusion agenda. The actions proposed for inclusion in the framework are those where there is room to improve connection and coordination across various parts of the system and across jurisdictional boundaries; where a national approach would ensure better use of resources; or where the Australian Government could make use of its policies and programs to ensure children are better protected. The final framework will clarify the Australian Government’s role and will be a practical working document outlining concrete actions to be undertaken by governments and other players. The issues and proposals outlined in this paper are intended as a starting point for discussions over the next three months with key stakeholders, experts and those with direct experience of child protection systems. It is intended that the national framework for protecting Australia’s children will be finalised before the end of 2008.

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Copyright _ Discussion Paper ISBN 978-1-921380-98-3 © Commonwealth of Australia 2008 This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth available from the Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney-Generals Department. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney-Generals, Robert Garran Offices, National Circuit, Canberra ACT 2600 or posted at