National Public Register of Child Sex Offenders: ICPS submission for Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, January 2019. Our submission does not support the establishment of a National Public Register of Child Sex Offenders as it would not enhance community safety and protect children from sexual abuse. Instead, we encourage the implementation of the strategies recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In particular, national coordination of existing efforts to share information between suitably qualified agencies at a State and Territory and Federal level in law enforcement and child safety regulation to prevent offending behaviour
Review of the Victorian Child Safe Standards: ICPS submission for Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services, February 2019. We present a number of key recommendations, including: further resources in community education and capacity building for child safety require; measurement of the effectiveness of child safety reforms; replacing the Victorian Government Child Safe Standards with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.
Adoption Reform: Dispensing with Consent: ICPS submission for Community Services Directorate ACT, March 2019. Our submission draws on our understanding of the impact of past adoption practices upon children, parents, family and community where, in particular, processes have failed to require informed and voluntary consent. Many of the practices have in fact justifiably been described as “forced adoption”. Our recommendations are built on our belief in a child’s right to information and knowledge, and in the right to resume or continue ongoing contact with their birth family.
Review of Government Service Provision: ICPS submission for Productivity Commission: What works – Protecting Children’, March 2019. Our submission offers comments on barriers to the development of coordinated political will in Australia in the last ten years and we offer suggestions for the review of structures and mechanisms and the effective use of monitoring to support the development and maintenance of that political will for reform in the future. We outline the need for more careful planning, more rigorous measurement and monitoring of progress and outcomes. Another significant part of our submission outlines the need for a national approach to child safety and child protection which we argue are critical aspects of creating safe environments for children and young people – both areas need to be included in any conversation about service provision.
National Action Plan for Health of Children and Young People 202030: ICPS submission for Australian Government Department of Health, March 2019. We suggest a coordinated strategy for broader consultation with sectors other than health, such as education, child protection and child safety, and with groups that include and represent children and young people. We believe that the health sector is in a strong position to provide significant leadership in developing evidence-based approaches to improving the health, wellbeing and safety of Australia’s children and young people.
Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System: ICPS submission for Victorian Government, July 2019. One of our key points is that the drivers for poorer mental health outcomes are complex and linked to experiences of social and economic disadvantage. A broad coordinated public health approach offers the best opportunity to address these factors and build comprehensive and lasting responses. It is our view that mental health outcomes are best addressed alongside safety, protection and health and wellbeing as part of a broad systems approach designed to build wellbeing for children, young people and their families.
Inquiry into Local Adoption: ICPS submission for House of Representatives, Parliament of Australia, May 2018. Research on the impacts of past adoption practices on parents and on adult adoptees shows that there is no empirical data or theoretical rationale to develop local adoption as a pathway for stability/permanency for children in the out-of-home care system. We do not support removing children at risk from their families. What is needed is better efforts to support parents to continue to care for their children by offering treatment, parenting supports, and respite; recruitment, training and support for permanent carers; and ‘mirror families’ with highly trained carers and mentors who provide in-home or out-of-home care placements to entire families.