Fact sheet: Troubling proposals in new child protection legislation

Have you heard about the Child Protection Legislation Amendment Bill?

The NSW Government has introduced proposed changes to the child protection system that the Premier himself labelled as “radical”. These changes were initially outlined in a discussion paper released in late 2012 and have caused concern among many stakeholders.

Read the Bill

What are the key changes in the Bill?

  • New agreements and court orders for early interventions that aim to improve parenting capacity in at-risk families, including before a child is born. [Sections 38A-38E]
  • Fixed timeframes to make a decision about whether children who have been removed from their family have a realistic chance of being restored. [Section 83]
  • A hierarchy of preferred ‘permanency’ options which considers adoption whenever a non-Aboriginal child cannot be in the care of a family member. [Section 10A and related sections]

The invisible foster care system

The "Parenting agreement" is in fact, a "Childcare Agreement / Voluntary Foster Care Contract", and is not really a Voluntary Agreement if it can be forfeited by court orders.

The Department of Community Services outsourced the Out of Home Care contracts to the Department of Education and Communities. The Department of Education and Communities represent and regulate all childcare providers.

Communities which is a part of the Department of Education Communities also known as Family and Children Services provide support through programs and childcare contracted by the Department of Community services formerly known as Social services (DOCS/DHS).

Youth justice is not the government's fault – but it's their job to fix it

Youth justice is not the government's fault – but it's their job to fix it.  

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

The problem we are facing with the youth justice system hasn't developed overnight. The present government has inherited a problem that has been some years in the making. So how did we get here?

One view is that successive governments have taken their eye off the ball with regard to youth justice; another is that our present crisis is not, or not only, due to negligence but more because of governments actively pursuing the wrong approach.