John Ferguson, Victorian political editor
February 29, 2012
A LOST generation of vulnerable Victorian children has been failed by governments and the legal system, but those responsible for overseeing the systemic departmental chaos will not be pursued by the Baillieu government.
The Cummins inquiry into child protection yesterday backed a ground-up overhaul of child services in Victoria as well as broad changes to the way the Children’s Court operates.
It found the growth in suspected child abuse and neglect was so great that almost one in every four children born last year would be the subject of at least one welfare protection report by their 18th birthday.
The inquiry has recommended greater reporting demands on the clergy, with exemptions for the rite of confession, and a whole-of-government response to the child welfare crisis. It has backed a new Commission for Children and Young People and accused Victorian governments over many years of having failed on crucial early-intervention procedures.
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