The Commission is the independent watchdog that provides a voice for approximately 8,000 children in care. Its work keeps the Government honest and serves to protect the most highly disadvantaged in our population, the children who cannot protect themselves.
As a result of the improvements put in place since the Forde and CMC inquiries, Queensland now has a highly efficient and effective Commission which provides proactive oversight of all children in care. This means today Queensland has an early alert system for children in care which we didn’t have before. We also now have solid evidence on which to focus child protection system improvements. We have a credible complaints system that children in care value and can use by way of their Commission community visitors. We also have a highly specialised audit capability which can investigate any incidents and deaths of children in care.
Furthermore the Commission has a proven record of financial efficiency. Over the past five years it has effectively reduced the annual oversight costs for each child in care while continuing to successfully fulfill its mandate to all children in Queensland. If the Commission is abolished, this credible oversight of children in care all disappears.
The Queensland Government has a statutory responsibility to protect our children and is a signatory to the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child. The Queensland Government cannot abrogate its responsibility to our most marginalised children.
As a community we simply cannot accept the removal of the voice for disadvantaged children. Carmody’s recommendation to abolish the Commission for Children would set child protection in QLD back at least a decade.
I urge you to reject this Carmody recommendation by emailing your concerns to the Queensland Premier and your local Member of Parliament.
You can also show your support by joining the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #protectQLDkids and linking and sharing on Facebook .
Former Children’s Commissioner (2005-2013) & Campaign Leader