CCYP Report on the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and young people in residential care
The recent report by the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) highlights a number of critical issues within Victoria’s residential care system.
The Salvation Army shares the Commission’s concerns that the system which is intended to protect vulnerable young people from further harm has failed too often and requires attention.
The report reflects a number of concerns raised in The Salvation Army’s own submission to this inquiry, including the importance of better placement matching, resourcing specialist and therapeutic care, and a commitment that no child under 12 years-of-age should be placed in residential care.
The Salvation Army welcomes the commitment made by the Victorian Government to support all nine recommendations made by the CCYP, including:
- The proposed improvements to the physical environment of residential care units, including $1M for the most urgent tasks;
- The introduction of professional foster care programs;
- Better placement processes, specialist practitioners and a voice for children to contribute thoughts and concerns.
The issues in residential care highlighted by the CCYP report only reflect one part of a broader system that is struggling to keep up with demand. By the time young people are placed in residential care, the social safety nets have already failed them at multiple points of need.
The recent announcement that a long term strategy for reform in children’s and family services is being developed is a welcome approach that acknowledges the importance of early intervention.
The Salvation Army’s media spokesperson Dr Bruce Redman said “The vulnerable young people that end up in residential care need intensive care and support. They deserve to live in a home environment that can be a safe place in which wounds can start to heal and nurtures their future potential.”
For further information or media comment please contact:
Dr Bruce Redman
Territorial Media Director
The Salvation Army – Australia Southern Territory (Vic., SA, Tas., WA & NT)
T. 03 8878 2448
M. 0417 537 950