Answering questions of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Children and Young People

Update from the Children’s Guardian: Last week I answered questions during a hearing of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Children and Young People.

Jubilee Room NSW Parliament House

This is a committee with members from both Houses of Parliament – and from the government, the opposition, as well as the Greens and an independent – that holds us accountable for fulfilling our legislative functions and responsibilities.

It monitors, reviews and reports on our administration of the Working with Children Check, and our roles in relation to the Reportable Conduct scheme, Child Safe Scheme and out-of-home care and adoption accreditation.

The focus of the hearing was our work during 2022-23, as described in our most recent annual report.

I was able to outline improvements in finalising oversight of investigations under the Reportable Conduct Scheme, as well as our continuing work in response to the Family is Culture report responding to the needs of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care.

I also updated the committee on progress in helping organisations fulfill their obligations under the Child Safe Scheme which is now the over-arching framework for keeping children safe in organisations in NSW.

As well as outlining our work for 2022-23, I was also able to discuss some improvements we are seeking in how information is shared between Australian states and territories. This is important to bolster and complement the protections provided by both the Working with Children Check and the NDIS Worker Check.

I was pleased to be able to answer questions from the committee about how these and other probity measures can be delivered efficiently and effectively.

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Children and Young People provides oversight to both the Office of the Children’s Guardian and the Advocate for Children and Young People, and I look forward to the work we can do together into the future.

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