Vulnerable children and families need greater protections

The ACT Government is failing vulnerable children and families, Shadow Minister for Families, Youth and Community Services Elizabeth Kikkert said.

“Child protection decisions need external review to ensure the safety of children and their families, and to restore community confidence in the system,” Mrs Kikkert said.

“Without external review, Canberra children are more likely to become victims of harmful decision-making, leading to devastating outcomes for families. We have seen this happen too many times.

“The ACT is the only Australian jurisdiction without a mechanism for external review, and our kids in care report feeling unsafe at much higher rates than other jurisdictions.

“Despite this, and despite numerous expert reports over many years all recommending external review, the ACT Government repeatedly fails to act.

“I thank the body of experts who have been unequivocal in their advocacy for external review.

“Since I first made the case for external review of child protection decisions in the Assembly in 2017, I have not stopped pushing for action to be taken.

“No one knows yet how COVID-19 might impact decisions taken within the child protection system, but restrictions are already affecting many homes. Now more than ever, vulnerable children and their families need assurance that decisions that impact their lives can be challenged.

“I will continue to push for external review until it is implemented,” Mrs Kikkert said.