Royal Commission update



Paula Jefferson

Australia August 24 2017

In the past six months the Royal Commission has continued its work as it nears its end date and final report (due in December). As ever many of the recommendations it makes are not specific to Australia but are of wider application and remit and worthy of consideration for good safeguarding practice and procedure elsewhere in the world including recommendations for reform to criminal justice, reporting abuse disclosed during the seal of the confessional and the misconceptions about memory which impact upon the responses to disclosure.

The most recent publications have included the following:

Research reports

Carer recruitment – 40% of those people who gave their evidence in private sessions (the equivalent of the IICSA truth project) reported abuse in out-of-home care. This report, titled ‘A national comparison of carer screening, assessment, selection and training and support in foster care, kinship and residential care’, highlighted difficulties in attracting and retaining foster carers, that there is only a limited pool of residential care workers and that high staff turnover are all barriers to the provision of high quality out-of-home care which is important to prevent child sexual abuse. The report also found that foster carers required more training on the sexual exploitation of young people in care.

Regulatory bodies – although the bodies considered in the report ‘Oversight and regulatory mechanisms aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse: Understanding current evidence of efficacy’, are specific to Australia there are parallels in the conclusions to the concerns which have been raised in the past in the UK about such organisations as the CQC.

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