Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Child protection is everyone’s responsibility

 The Child and Family Welfare Association of Australia’s policy paper, Time to Invest, makes a valuable contribution in highlighting the complex issues around child abuse Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, said today at the launch of the paper.

“The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies and Child and Family Welfare Association of Australia have called for national minimum standards to record child abuse notification, investigation and substantiation rates.

“Currently, each State and Territory handles child protection reporting differently. For example, there are many different definitions of what constitutes ‘abuse’ and not all states have a system of mandatory reporting.

“These differences at a very basic level make it difficult to draw concrete conclusions about child protection issues Australia-wide. I have been talking to key stakeholders about this issue for some time.

“The Prime Minister has said that he proposes to raise the issue of child protection at the next Council of Australian Governments meeting and:

“…will be seeking a commitment from State and Territory Premiers and Chief Ministers to a much more concentrated effort involving actions by all governments that accord with a high priority given to child protection.”

“Another area addressed in the report is the role of foster carers. In this respect, I have arranged a meeting with relevant State and Territory Ministers to discuss foster care and supporting carers.

“However, child protection is not an issue owned by the Government. We all have a responsibility to ensure that our children are safe. What sort of society are we that allows child abuse to occur at all?” Mr Anthony asked.