On Friday 15 December 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its final report and recommendations.
Over the past five years, the Royal Commission has uncovered tragic and widespread abuse of children who were in the care of government and non-government institutions. The response of these institutions suggests that children reporting abuse were not believed and their allegations were ignored.
As well as making important recommendations for governments and institutions, the Royal Commission has provided essential support to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. It has allowed their voice to be heard.
Now the Royal Commission has come to end, it is up to each government and institution with responsibility for children and young people to ensure that these failures to protect children never happen again. As part of a co-ordinated effort, the Victorian Government will consider each of the Royal Commission’s recommendations in full.
The Victorian Government has already started work that will address the Royal Commission’s recommendations, including
- Strengthening Working with Children Check (WWCC) laws in Victoria, and working with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions to establish a national model to facilitate WWCC information sharing across jurisdictions.
- Introducing reforms to help frontline health, education and family service professionals share information to promote the wellbeing and safety of children.
- Introducing the Reportable Conduct Scheme as part of the Government’s commitment to implement recommendations from the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry to better respond to allegations of abuse and misconduct. The scheme also complements other measures, like the Child Safe Standards, introduced in 2016. These measures are designed to make protecting children from abuse part of everyday thinking and practice for those who work with them.
More information can be found on the Royal Commission website.