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Government need to show leadership on out of home care

The Government need to take last night’s harrowing Four Corners report seriously and act to address the flawed out of home care system that often hurts kids rather than helping, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The Government knows full well about the major systemic problems with the out of home care system around Australia and have done little to address it.

“Mid last year the Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee tabled a report on out of home care in Australia with 39 recommendations on how to improve the system, the Government has yet to act on the report. In particular missing the opportunity of improving the 3rd Action plan on the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children.

“It is a shame that in cases of systemic injustice in this country we have to get to the point where evidence is broadcast nationally before the Government will even acknowledge it. The Government has been given plenty of evidence that the system is flawed and outcomes for kids are not good but they have yet to show the leadership to drive change.

“I urge the Government to act on recommendations by the committee and others that include the need for effective data, the need for independent child commissioners and guardians, leaving care, a process for complaint from young people and the need for the voice of young people in decision making processes.

“It is clear we have a problem. More money is being put into the back end of protection instead of prevention and early intervention and when kids are being taken away into care they are still experiencing poor outcomes, it is time to address this national issue”.

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