Statement 11 December 2020

The State Government is acting swiftly to conduct an independent review into the protocols and practices of the Department for Child Protection in relation to two recent cases involving teenage girls in care.

An independent expert will lead the review and the terms of reference are currently being determined.

Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson expressed her concern and disappointment about this matter – and has taken swift action to implement a thorough review.

“There is no doubt the details of these cases are concerning and unacceptable,” said Minister Sanderson.

“That’s why I will be seeking answers via a thorough independent review into the Department for Child Protection’s protocols and practices.

“I want to know how something like this could happen and why I wasn’t informed until court sentencing.

“My primary concern is the vulnerable young girls at the heart of these two cases and I have been advised by the Department for Child Protection’s Chief Executive Cathy Taylor that in both cases, the young girls are and were being fully supported.

“Let’s not forget there are young, vulnerable girls at the heart of these two cases and we must not victimise them.

“Any abuse of a child or young person is abhorrent, and anyone found guilty should rightly face the full force of the law.”

Minister Sanderson said the State Government remains committed to continuing to improve outcomes for our most vulnerable children and young people.

“The safety and wellbeing of children and young people in care remains our number one priority,” said Minister Sanderson.