Community services ready to work with Government on the roadmap for change

TasCOSS applauds the advocacy of all Tasmanians who gave evidence at the recent Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings, particularly those who bravely shared their own experiences of abuse, trauma and neglect. We also recognise and commend the tireless dedication of all community organisations who have supported Tasmanians through this process. 

TasCOSS Acting CEO, Dr Charlie Burton, said all Tasmanian children have the right to safety.

“The Commission has made a clear finding that the state has failed to adequately protect Tasmanian children over many years, and that poor practices, systems and cultures meant allegations and incidents of abuse were not responded to adequately,” Dr Burton said.

“We now have a clear roadmap for change. We must take this opportunity to learn from these stories to transform our systems and institutions to keep our children safe.”

Dr Burton said the Commission also emphasised the importance of adequate funding for early intervention and therapeutic, trauma-informed responses to support children at risk of involvement in the child safety and youth justice systems.

“Truly therapeutic reform requires change across a number of agencies and services to support families at the earliest opportunity in a way that is collaborative and responsive to need. For example, we fully support the key recommendations in relation to ‘Keeping Aboriginal Children Safe,’ which includes increasing investment in Aboriginal-led early intervention and prevention services for Aboriginal families that reflects the over-representation of Aboriginal children in the Tasmanian child safety system,” he said.

“Many of the children involved in these systems have multiple and complex needs. No single agency or organisation can support these children or their families — they need a range of services which are coordinated, consistent, evidence-based and culturally safe.

“We echo the Commission’s urging that the recommendations are implemented in a way that is ‘properly planned, funded and sustained,’ and we are ready to commence this important work in partnership with the Government.”