Commission of Inquiry into the State Government’s Response to Child Sexual Abuse

The Commission of Inquiry occurs at a time when the State Government is progressing its response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission).

TasCOSS welcomes the State Government’s acceptance of the majority of the Royal Commission’s recommendations in its 2018 report. The Royal Commission found that many institutions had failed to protect children from abuse, failed to listen to children who tried to disclose abuse and failed to respond adequately when abuse came to light; the Commission of Inquiry’s evaluation of the State Government’s response to child sexual abuse in institutions and to the Royal Commission’s recommendations will be crucial in ensuring that these failures can never recur.

In preparing this submission, TasCOSS consulted with organisations with frontline and policy expertise in the child safety system and children’s welfare. The submission addresses seven systemic themes that are or will in future impact on the adequacy and appropriateness of the State Government’s response to allegations and incidents of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts. Those themes are:

  1. Challenges in evaluating the State Government’s response,
  2. Consistency with national language and scope.
  3. Consistency of compliance and accountability across government and non-government entities.
  4. Lack of a reportable conduct scheme with an independent oversight body.
  5. Lack of timelines.
  6. Incomplete development and implementation of initiatives within the child safety system.
  7. Primary prevention.