media release

Government taskforce to redesign SA’s child abuse and neglect early intervention and prevention system

A newly formed State Government Taskforce has been charged with redesigning South Australia’s child abuse and neglect early intervention and prevention system.

The Taskforce establishment forms part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s commitment to targeting early intervention and prevention, with the aim of reducing the impact and extent of child abuse and neglect in South Australia.

The Taskforce, chaired by the Department for Child Protection Chief Executive Cathy Taylor, has been formed with a whole of government approach, with senior executive representatives from:

• Education
• Human Services
• Health
• SA Police
• Treasury
• Premier & Cabinet
• Child Protection

The Taskforce will provide the State Government with a better understanding of what is needed to achieve system reform and will focus on six key areas. These include designing new early intervention and prevention pilot programs and improving current services.

The Taskforce will respond to research undertaken by the Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD) to help redesign the system to more effectively protect children from harm.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink has been tasked with leading the state’s child abuse and neglect early intervention and prevention system redesign.

“The Liberal Government is determined to do more to prevent child abuse and neglect in South Australia and early intervention is a key component of that,” Minister Lensink said.

“The new Taskforce will work in conjunction with the Liberal Government’s Social Affairs Cabinet Committee, using the latest early intervention research, which shows how committed we are to improving the system in our state.

“We urgently need to better understand where we can intervene and offer early support to families and this new Taskforce is charged with delivering current and new services.”

Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson welcomed the Taskforce establishment.

“Protecting the state’s most vulnerable children and young people is an absolute priority of the Liberal Government and this is why a whole of government approach is so important,” Minister Sanderson said.

“Whilst focusing on better outcomes for children already in our care and their transition to adulthood, stemming the flow of children coming into the child protection system is critical.”

This month, the Liberal Government awarded the state’s leading researchers an additional almost $1 million boost towards further understanding and tackling child abuse and neglect.

The new research will build on previous studies and will be critical in shaping the state’s early intervention services in the future.