Victoria doesn’t need yet another Royal Commission on child protection.
Another Royal Commission is just to kick the can down the road. Victoria (or any other state) doesn’t need another Royal Commission. Governments need to act.
Child protection in Victoria is in need of a radical rethink, what we don’t need is another Royal Commission.
To fully implement the 227 recommendations, made 10 years ago, from the previous Royal Commission would be much more appropriate.
To date only 167 recommendations have been implemented. Early intervention services and supports are a key component missing from Victoria’s child protection system, something that is glaringly obvious when looking at the figures from 2019-2020 with 65 child deaths are known to the child protection system. What is so distressing about these figures is that 27 of these deaths were from suicide. The hopelessness and disconnection that this current system creates are palpable and completely unacceptable.
Of the 65 child deaths,44 of these children had direct contact with the departmentwithin the 12 months prior to their deaths.
If the government is to implement the recommendations lacking from the previous royal commission, the non-government organisations will need to be extremely well funded and a serious recruitment of highly qualified staff will need to be sourced and fully trained. Along with implementing these desperately needed changes to the child protection system, the Victorian government should also be looking at funding extra places at TAFE’s and Universities to upskill the much-needed influx of qualified and experienced workers required to successfully make the radical changes required.