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Contact Stephanie Gotlib
Chief Executive Officer
03 9417 1025
stephaniegotlib@cyda.org.au

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Latest News

 

Report released – Case Study 35 – Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne – Royal Commission (5 December 2017)
The Royal Commission has released a redacted version of the report of Case Study 35 – Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. This report follows a public hearing that focused on the response of Catholic Church authorities within or associated with the Archdiocese of Melbourne to allegations and complaints of child sexual abuse. More information, and the full report, is available from the Royal Commission, at https://goo.gl/oAn9z8

Report Released – Case Study 28 – Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat – Royal Commission (6 December 2017)
The Royal Commission has released a redacted version of the report of Case Study 28 – Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat. The report follows a public hearing that examined the response of the Congregation of Christian Brothers in the St Patrick’s Province of Ballarat and the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat to complaints and allegations of child sexual abuse. More information, and the full report, is available from the Royal Commission, at https://goo.gl/a1o2Y9

Final sitting marks the end of the Royal Commission
A public sitting will be held to mark end of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The sitting will be held at 9.30am on Thursday 14 December 2017, at the Governor Macquarie Tower in Sydney, and will be open to public with limited seating available. People who are unable to attend will be able to view a live-streaming of the sitting on the Royal Commission’s website. Further information is available from the Royal Commission, at https://goo.gl/F16C2r

Final report released – Royal Commission into the protection and detention of children in the Northern Territory (17 November 2017)
The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory delivered its final report to the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments on 17 November 2017. The Commission’s inquiry revealed systemic failures, with children and young people being subjected to regular, repeated and distressing mistreatment. The systemic failures occurred over many years and were ignored at the highest levels. More information, and the full report, is available from the Commission’s website, at https://goo.gl/Mdixx9

Justice McClellan addresses Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science Seminar – Royal Commission (14 November 2017)
The Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM, addressed the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science Seminar at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. His full speech is available from the Royal Commission, at https://goo.gl/A1frPF

National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations – AHRC
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) will develop a National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations to increase the safety of Australian children and young people by building child-safe cultures across organisational settings. This project has been commissioned by the Commonwealth Government as part of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children Third Action Plan (2015-2018). More information is available from the AHRC, at https://goo.gl/7tMHL1. If you have any feedback, please send it to the AHRC at childsafe@humanrights.gov.au

Report released – A familiar face: violence in the lives of children and adolescents – UNICEF (November 2017)
This report summarises recent data in discussing four specific forms of violence: violent discipline and exposure to domestic abuse during early childhood; violence at school; violent deaths among adolescents; and sexual violence in childhood and adolescence. It is revealed that violence is experienced by children across all stages of childhood, in diverse settings, and often at the hands of individuals with whom they regularly interact. National actions and strategies for preventing and responding to violence against children are discussed. The full report can be downloaded from UNICEF, at https://www.unicef.org/publications/index_101397.html

Article released – When it comes to redress for child sexual abuse, all victims should be equal – the Conversation (1 November 2017)
This article addresses the controversial exclusion of certain victims in the government’s proposed redress scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse. It is proposed that people who have been convicted of sex offences, and those sentenced to prison terms of five years or more for certain crimes, are excluded from redress. The full article can be read on The Conversation, at https://goo.gl/iYZ56V

Resources and downloads available – Preventing and Responding to Abuse: Guidance for Victorian disability service providers – DSC
The Disability Services Commissioner held this forum on the 12 September 2017, which addressed preventing and responding to abuse in disability services. They have now released videos of the presentations, and various resources from the forum, on their website, at https://goo.gl/NPShPP

Call for participants – Gender and Family Violence: New Frameworks in Prevention – Monash University
Monash University will be conducting a study on violence against women with disability. They are looking to carry out discussions with women with disability who have experienced violence, who are living in New South Wales or Victoria. Topics that will be discussed will include women’s experiences of violence, and the situations or people that are helpful or detrimental to women’s perceptions of safety. More information is available from Monash University, at https://goo.gl/mi39RN

Resource released – Understanding safeguarding practices for children with disability when engaging with organisations – CFCA (October 2017)
Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) have developed this new resource, which provides an overview of the abuse and neglect of children with disability, and discusses various methods for achieving child-safe organisations for children with disability. The resource is available from CFCA at https://goo.gl/uHz4eh

Article released – Improving data collection to better support children in out-of-home care at risk of offending – CFCA (18 October 2017)
Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) have released the final article of a series that explored the over-representation of children and young people in out-of-home care, or with a history of maltreatment, in the youth justice system. The article discusses the need to improve data collection, so as to better inform how to support children and young people who are at risk of offending. The article is available from CFCA at https://goo.gl/xxbnjM

Supplementary Report of Case Study no. 34 released: The response of Brisbane Grammar and St Paul’s School to allegations of child sexual abuse – Royal Commission
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released this supplementary report after receiving significant new information regarding Kevin Lynch, who allegedly sexually abused students while working at both Brisbane Grammar and St Paul’s School. It was revealed that Kevin Lynch had previously been convicted of two counts of indecent assault, before his employment at these schools. The findings presented in this report support the Royal Commission’s recommendations for a nationally consistent Working With Children Check scheme contained in their Working With Children Checks report. The supplementary report is available from the Royal Commission at https://goo.gl/C1sVb4

Report released – Report of Case Study 45 – Problematic and harmful sexual behaviours of children in schools – Royal Commission (18 October 2017)
The Royal Commission has released a report summarising the findings for Case Study No. 45, which relates to a public hearing held in October and November 2016. The public hearing inquired into the responses of a number of schools in New South Wales and Queensland to allegations of problematic or harmful sexual behaviours by students at those schools. The report can be downloaded from the Royal Commission website at https://goo.gl/iHmhBu

Documentary released – The Invisibles – Berry Street
Berry Street has released a documentary to mark their 140th year of operations. The documentary follows the story of five young people who have grown up in out-of-home care as they prepare for the Berry Street Debutante Ball. The documentary can be watched on Berry Street’s website, at https://www.berrystreet.org.au/invisibles

Report Released – Disability Services Commissioner Annual Report 2016-17 – DSC (October 2017)
The Disability Services Commissioner Annual Report summarises information regarding the enquiries and complaints made to the DSC and to disability services directly. The report includes the number, type, and outcomes of these enquiries and complaints. The report is available to download in various formats here.

Resource Released – Child deaths from abuse and neglect – CFCA (October 2017)
Child Family Community Australia has released an updated resource sheet that summarises statistics on child deaths resulting from child abuse and neglect in Australia, and discusses these statistics in light of an international context. Information is included on the deaths of young people with a history of child protection involvement in each Australian state/territory. To access the resource, click here.

Justice McClellan addresses the Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (ANZAP) – Royal Commission (30 September 2017)
The Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse, Justice Peter McClellan AM, spoke at the Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy 30th Anniversary Conference in Sydney on 30 September 2017. Justice McClellan’s speech can be read here.

Discussion paper released – Modernisation of the Anti-Discrimination Act (NT) – Department of the Attorney General and Justice NT (September 2017)
The Northern Territory Department of the Attorney General and Justice has prepared this discussion paper which addresses a number of issues with the current Anti-Discrimination Act. The Act came into effect on 1 August 1993 and has undergone little amendment since its commencement. Due to the evolving nature of discrimination, laws need to be amended to keep in line with contemporary standards. The Department of the Attorney-General and Justice is seeking both formal and informal comments regarding possible amendments to the Anti-Discrimination Act, which must be received by the 3 December 2017
. To read the discussion paper, click here.

Report released – Investigation into the management and protection of disability group home residents by the Department of Health and Human Services and Autism Plus – Victorian Ombudsman (25 September 2017)
This report summarises the findings of an investigation into sexual assault allegations against a resident of a group home run by disability services provider Autism Plus. Despite a number of concerns being expressed, the resident remained in the group home for months until the alleged rape took place. The events raised concerns regarding the failure of Autism Plus and the Department of Health and Human Services to move the group home resident earlier. The report summarises these concerns, as well as questions about the suitability of Autism Plus to provide care for DHHS clients and about the action and inaction of DHHS officials. For more information, and to download the report, click here.

Report released – Unfitness to Plead and Indefinite Detention of Persons with Cognitive Disabilities – Melbourne Social Equity Institute (September 2017)
This report, released by the University of Melbourne’s Social Equity Institute, is the final report summarising findings of the Unfitness to Plead Project. This project investigated the issue of people with cognitive disability being found unfit to plead, resulting in indefinite detention. The report summarises the barriers faced by people with cognitive disability across the criminal justice system and recommendations for addressing these issues. For more information, and to download the report, click here.

Journal article released – Criminalising Institutional Failures to Prevent, Identify or React to Child Sexual Abuse (1 September 2017)
This article proposes that organisations can and should be criminalised for organisational wrongdoing, such as systemic failures to adequately respond to instances of child sexual abuse. It is suggested that mandatory reporting offences, though important, are not adequate in responding to the organisational failings identified by the Royal Commission. Rather, such failings require criminal sanctions are imposed. To download the article, click here.

Resource released – Principles for child-safe organisations (NSW) – the Office of the Children’s Guardian (September 2017)
The NSW Government’s Office of the Children’s Guardian has released this resource to help organisations create safer environments for children. The flexible strategies outlined in the principles can be implemented in addressing a range of environmental risks which may arise across varied organisations. The resource highlights the importance of organisational culture in keeping children safe. For more information, and to download the resource, click here.

Discussion paper released – Strengthening child sexual abuse laws (NSW) – NSW Government (September 2017)
The NSW Government has prepared a discussion paper that discusses issues relating to child sexual abuse laws in NSW. The paper suggests possible options to improve the current framework, and discusses whether new offences may be necessary to fill any gaps in the existing framework. The paper is informed in part by the recommendations of the Criminal Justice Report, released by the Royal Commission in August 2017. For more information, and to download the discussion paper, click here.

Report Released – Whistleblower Protections – Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (13 September 2017)
The Committee has released a report which makes a number of recommendations to help improve legislation surrounding whistleblower protections. A major recommendation is that a Whistleblower Protection Authority is established that can support whistleblowers, assess and prioritise the treatment of whistleblowing allegations, and ensure the implementation of a whistleblower regime in both private and public sectors. For more information, and to download the report, click here.

Final reports released from the Queensland Foster Care and Blue Cards systems review – QFCC (7 September 2017)
The Queensland Family and Child Commission have released two reports following their whole system review of the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000. The review focused on two key components: (i) the use of Blue Cards (working with children checks) and, (ii) the assessment and approval processes for foster carers. The two final reports summarise the findings of these two focuses and include a number of recommendations to strengthen and improve the Blue Card system and Foster Care system respectively. The Review of the blue card system report is available here, and the Review of the foster care system report is available here.

Resource released – Challenging misconceptions about sexual offending: creating an evidence-based resource for police and legal practitioners, AIFS & Victoria Police (06 September 2017)
Victoria Police, in partnership with the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), have released an evidence-based resource which presents an accurate picture of sexual offending. The resource challenges a number of commonly held misconceptions about sexual offending, and aims to help police, legal practitioners, and the general community, develop a better understanding of the realities of sexual offending. The resource, and more information, is available here.

Report Released – Seeking help for domestic violence: exploring rural women’s coping experiences – final report – ANROWS (September 2017)
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) has released a report which presents the final results of a qualitative study investigating the ability of women living in regional, rural, and remote areas in Australia, to seek help regarding domestic and family violence. The report contributes to research suggesting isolation may impact women’s ability to cope with, and decisions to seek help regarding, domestic and family violence. For more information, and to download the report, click here.

Publication released – Prevention of child abuse and neglect – NAPCAN and AIFS (September 2017)
As part of National Child Protection Week, NAPCAN and the Australian Institute of Family Studies have released a paper exploring and promoting the concept of prevention. The paper summarises the ongoing discussion and research relating to prevention with the aim of engaging the community and improving their understanding of the term, and to ensure prevention is prioritised in policy and investment. The full paper is available here

Podcast series – Unspeakable: Understanding Sexual Crime – Victoria Police (September 2017)
As part of National Child Protection Week, Victoria Police has launched the first of a new six-part podcast series aimed to inform the community about sexual crime and challenge common misconceptions about sexual offending. Each free episode will be released weekly on iTunes and SoundCloud and will focus on a different theme, such as reporting of sexual offences, victim reactions, and future strategies. It is hoped the podcast will encourage more victims to report their assault. More information is available here.

Report Released – Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports – Centre for Global Research, RMIT (August, 2017)
The Centre for Global Research at RMIT University has released a comprehensive report, which took five years to complete, addressing the ongoing issue of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The report focuses on the precipitating risk factors for child sexual abuse and analyses the systemic reasons why the issue has persisted in the Catholic Church worldwide. For more information, and to download the report, click here. RMIT has also released a podcast discussing the report, which can be listened to for free on iTunes or SoundCloud.

New Inspection Powers for DSC – Victoria
The Disability Services Commissioner (DSC) has introduced new powers, which allow DSC Authorised Officers to inspect disability services in response to reports of abuse and neglect. A number of senior DSC staff have been appointed to the role of DSC Authorised Officer and are able to use their inspection powers immediately. Authorised Officers are able to inspect disability services, make enquiries about relevant persons with disability, obtain access to relevant documents, and interview a relevant person with disability, their relatives, support persons, staff, and volunteers. More information is available here.

Publication released – Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect – CFCA (September 2017)
Child Family Community Australia has released a resource sheet which summarises mandatory reporting of suspected abuse and neglect to child protection services in Australia. The document considers the key legislative reporting duties in each jurisdiction, focusing on major differences between state and territories regarding who is required to report, and what a report must include. The resource sheet is available here.

Report Released – Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children – AIFS (September 2017)
The seventh volume of the Annual Statistical Report series, produced by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, has now been released. The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) investigates child development and family functioning in the context of Australia’s contemporary social, economic and cultural environment. The report series aims to provide information to researchers, policy-makers, service providers, and the community at large relating to the LSAC findings. The full report is available here.

Report Released – Case study 40: The Response of the Australian Defence Force to Allegations of child sexual abuse – Royal Commission (22 August 2017)
The Royal Commission released a report regarding a public hearing which inquired into the experiences of men and women who, as children, were sexually abused in certain divisions of the Australian Defence Force.More information and the full report is available here

Past Information