Reforming child protection in Queensland: a review of the implementation of recommendations contained in the CMC's Protecting children report


In July 2003, the Queensland Premier referred some specific complaints of abuse of children in foster care to the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) for investigation. The CMC approached these matters through two simultaneous processes – misconduct investigations and a public inquiry – conducted during the second half of 2003. These processes resulted in the release of a report in January 2004, ‘Protecting children: an inquiry into abuse of children in foster care’. Its finding was that the Department of Families was in a state of crisis and incapable of responding adequately to child protection issues. It made 110 recommendations for the immediate and far-reaching reform of the child protection system in Queensland, including the creation of a new Department of Child Safety. In accordance with the intention expressed in that report, the Commission has conducted another review that has focused solely on whether action has been taken to implement the recommendations that have been made. Comments were invited from 108 different entities with an interest in child protection, and a total of 30 submissions were received in response. In addition, the Commission consulted various reports and papers on the child protection system that have been issued since 2003, conducted research, and requested specific information from the DCS. It was found that substantial progress has been made in implementing the recommendations made in the CMC’s 2004 report, although there is more work still to be done to keep pace with community expectations about how Queensland’s child protection system should operate. (Summary, edited.)

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