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Current News and Inquiries

 
This page contains recent updates on issues relevant to children and young people with disability. Further information and articles are available on CYDA’s social media sites, Facebook and Twitter.

NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME FRAUD CONTROL PROGRAM
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is conducting an audit to examine the effectiveness of the National Disability Insurance Agency’s fraud control program and its compliance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework. If you would like to contribute to this inquiry submissions can be made until 31 March 2018. Further information is available from the ANAO at https://goo.gl/yn2y5D.

FAMILY IS CULTURE: INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF ABORIGINAL CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN OUT OF HOME CARE IN NSW
An independent review is examining the reasons for the high and increasing rates of Aboriginal Children and Young People in Out of Home Care (OOHC) in NSW. The Review welcomes submissions from people with lived experience of Child Protection and OOHC, peak bodies, advocacy groups, academics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and other interested individuals. The final report will be delivered to the Minister for Family and Community Services in July 2018. Submissions are due 19 December. Further information is available from the Family is Culture website at https://goo.gl/miei9R.

REVIEW OF THE TASMANIAN DISABILITY SERVICES ACT 2011
An independent review of the Tasmanian Disability Services Act 2011 is open for public consultation. People with disability and their families are invited to attend forums in Launceston, Devonport and Hobart. You can also participate in the Review by providing a written submission or completing an online survey. Submissions are due 15 December 2017. More information is available from the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services website at https://goo.gl/ub74LB.

‘THERAPEUTIC RESIDENTIAL CARE’ FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN OUT OF HOME CARE (21 November 2017)
The SA Guardian for Children and Young People is leading a national policy development process about the meaning of ‘therapeutic residential care' for children and young people in out of home care. A draft proposal defining therapeutic residential care was presented to the national Australian Children's Commissioners and Guardians meeting in mid-November. Further information is available from the SA Guardian at https://goo.gl/utAJwM.

COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS DISABILITY REFORM COUNCIL MEETING (20 November 2017)
The Council of Australian Governments Disability Reform Council’s final meeting for 2017 was held on 20 November. Australian Disability Services Ministers discussed a number of key issues for the successful roll‑out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Communiqué outlining the meeting outcomes can be viewed on the Department of Social Services website at https://goo.gl/xP7k1i.

NATIONAL STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES FOR CHILD SAFE ORGANISATIONS (15 November 2017)
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is leading the development of a National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations as part of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children Third Action Plan (2015-2018). The National Principles will drive a child-safe culture across all sectors to protect the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. A draft statement was endorsed by the Commonwealth, state and territory Community Service Ministers in October 2017. A broader consultation process will soon commence across all sectors working with children and young people. Further information is available from the AHRC at https://goo.gl/mfBg6P.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY (IDPWD)
IDPwD is a United Nations sanctioned day that is celebrated internationally on 3 December. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability. You can hold an event to acknowledge and celebrate how disability strengthens the Australian community. For more information, visit the IDPwD website at https://goo.gl/kW5TF.

AUSTRALIA’S DRAFT REPORT TO THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
The Attorney-General’s Department welcomes comments and feedback on Australia’s draft combined report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict, and the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Submissions are due 20 November 2017. Further information is available from the Attorney-General’s Department at https://goo.gl/FcBCdp.

INQUIRY INTO THE NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME AMENDMENT (QUALITY AND SAFEGUARDS COMMISSION AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2017 (8 NOVEMBER 2017)
The Senate inquiry into proposed changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 to establish the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has released a final report. The functions of the Commission relate to: registration of NDIS providers and worker screening; compliance, investigation and enforcement; complaints and reportable incidents; and information sharing arrangements. The report is available from the Parliament of Australia at https://goo.gl/gdhBX8.

A FAMILIAR FACE – VIOLENCE IN THE LIVES OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS (November 2017)
This UNICEF report presents the most current data on violence in the lives of children and adolescents. The statistics reveal that children experience violence across all stages of childhood, in diverse settings, and often at the hands of the trusted individuals with whom they interact daily. The report concludes with specific national actions and strategies to prevent and respond to violence against children. The report is available from UNICEF at https://goo.gl/WdwnB6.

SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS OF GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES (October 2017)
This report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities examines challenges experienced by girls and young women with disability in relation to their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Guidance is provided on ensuring that laws and policies support the autonomy of girls and young women with disability and address the structural factors contributing to violence, abuse and other harmful practices. The report is available from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at https://goo.gl/FL7yvt.

THE ORIGINS PROJECT – TELETHON KIDS INSTITUTE & JOONDALUP HEALTH CAMPUS
Telethon Kids Institute and Joondalup Health Campus will be conducting the ORIGINS Project – a major longitudinal study that will investigate the long-term effects of events and experiences that occur very early in children’s life. The study will follow 10,000 participants from pregnancy, to birth, to five years of age. The Government has announced that it will invest $13 million in the study. The full media release is available from the Prime Minister of Australia website, at https://goo.gl/DzckTS. More information about the ORIGINS Project is available from the Telethon Kids Institute, at https://originsproject.telethonkids.org.au/

UPCOMING EVENT – HUMAN RIGHTS WEEK 2017 (VICTORIA)
International Human Rights Day is celebrated annually, on the 10 December. This year, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission are expanding the celebrations to hold Victoria’s first Human Rights Week, from Monday 4 to Sunday 10 December 2017. The theme this year is ‘Human rights starts with you’ – a simple but important message that highlights the role we all have in ensuring the principles of freedom, respect, equality and dignity are upheld. More information is available from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, at https://goo.gl/Pq8Txb

DRAFT GENERAL COMMENT ON THE RIGHT OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES TO EQUALITY AND NON-DISCIRMINATION (ARTICLE 5)
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is calling for submissions on a Draft General Comment on Article 5 of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which deals with equality and non-discrimination. Input is sought on issues including: equality before and under the law; prohibition of all forms of discrimination; and country obligations such as accessibility, procedural accommodation and age-appropriate support. Submissions are due 30 November 2017. Further information is available here.

REVIEW TO ACHIEVE EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE IN AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS
The Australian Government has commissioned a panel chaired by Mr David Gonski AC to examine evidence and make recommendations on how school funding should be used to improve school performance and student outcomes. The final report and recommendations will be provided to Government by March 2018. Further information is available from the Department of Education and Training at https://goo.gl/wNSF5b

PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION INQUIRY INTO NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME (NDIS) COSTS (19 October 2017)
This report outlines the Productivity Commission’s findings and recommendations in the inquiry into the costs and financial sustainability of the NDIS. The inquiry examined issues including: eligibility; the planning process; the interface between NDIS and non-NDIS services and the readiness of the disability support sector and workforce. The report is available here.

DECISION-MAKING CONTROLS FOR SUSTAINABILITY – NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME ACCESS (19 October 2017)
This Australian National Audit Office has completed an audit assessing the effectiveness of controls being implemented and developed by the National Disability Insurance Agency. The audit examined whether NDIS access decisions are consistent with legislative and other requirements. The report is available here.

NEW DATA ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE IN CHILD PROTECTION AND UNDER YOUTH JUSTICE SUPERVISION (17 October 2017)
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released information on people aged 10–16 who were in the child protection system and under youth justice supervision from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2016. Young people under youth justice supervision were 12 times as likely as the general population to be in the child protection system. The report is available here.

INQUIRY INTO THE MEDICARE LEVY AMENDMENT (NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME FUNDING) BILL 2017 AND 10 RELATED BILLS (16 October 2017)
The Senate Standing Committee on Economics has completed its inquiry into the proposal to increase the Medicare levy from 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent of a person’s taxable income to assist in funding the Commonwealth’s contribution to the NDIS. The report is available here.

UNDERSTANDING SAFEGUARDING PRACTICES FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITY WHEN ENGAGING WITH ORGANISATIONS (October 2017)
This resource from Child Family Community Australia explores how an understanding of abuse and neglect, relating to children with disability, can assist in establishing child-safe organisations. The report is available here.

NATIONAL REPORT ON SCHOOLING IN AUSTRALIA 2015 (October 2017)
The National Report on Schooling in Australia is the annual report on Australia’s school education sector by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. The report discusses the progress made towards the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians agreed by Australian Education Ministers in 2008. It summarises findings regarding: student participation; student achievement in national assessments; and student transitions to work. The report and the Declaration are available here .

AUDIT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION AND PERFORMANCE OF THE CASHLESS DEBIT CARD TRIAL
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is conducting an audit to assess the Department of Social Services’ implementation and evaluation of the Cashless Debit Card Trial. The audit will consider the appropriateness of the arrangements established to support the trial and the effectiveness of the trial evaluation process. If you would like to contribute to this inquiry submissions can be made until the 15 January 2018. Further information is available from the Australian National Audit Office at https://goo.gl/yn2y5D

2018-2019 PRE-BUDGET SUBMISSIONS CONSULTATION
The Government is inviting submissions from individuals, businesses and community groups on their views regarding priorities for the 2018-19 Budget. In order to feed into the budget process submissions are requested by 15 December 2017. Further information is available here.

THE JUSTICE PROJECT
The Australian Law Council is conducting a national review into barriers to justice in Australia, with a specific focus on people who experience disadvantage. This project aims to develop new justice strategies and law reform informed by available evidence. The Project’s final report will be released by the end of 2017. Further information.

NEW DATA ABOUT CHILD PROTECTION RELEASED 
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released statistics around use of child protection services in Australia. This data indicates that child protection cases have increased by 20% over the last four years and three quarters of children receiving child protection services are repeat clients. Further information.  

REPORTS RELEASED

NATIONAL YEAR 1 LITERACY AND NUMERACY CHECK 
The Australian Government has announced the implementation of a national check in the areas of reading, phonics and numeracy for all Year 1 students. An Expert Advisory Panel has also been established to advise the Australian Government on the development and implementation of the Year 1 check. Further information.

INDEPENDENT REVIEW INTO REGIONAL, RURAL AND REMOTE EDUCATION 
This review will consider the key challenges and barriers that impact learning outcomes of students in regional areas, including transitions to further study, training and employment. An issues paper to guide public submissions will be released in April and face to face consultations will be held in July and August. Further information.

ISSUES FROM THE MEDIA