September update from the Children's Guardian
In September, the Office of the Children’s Guardian hosted a meeting of the Historical Claims Working Group to examine how government and non-government agencies in NSW respond to allegations of historical child abuse.
It’s important to monitor how these claims are progressing, and to be looking for where improvements can be made that will make the process fairer, more sensitive and more responsive.
In the work of the Office of the Children’s Guardian, the Reportable Conduct Scheme plays a central role here, with many of these allegations also intersecting with the National Redress Scheme.
It’s important that each allegation is pursued to a just outcome. It is also important that there’s a process of review that includes an analysis of what went wrong so that any mistake is not repeated.
Historical claims can be a challenging area, from an evidentiary, procedural fairness, victim support, and subject worker support perspective.
The working group met to progress issues identified for action, including working with police to settle an approach to improve the flow of information and advice that organisations need to appropriately respond to historical reportable conduct allegations. We are also developing a factsheet for our stakeholders to help them in responding to historical allegations.
As is so often the case with doing better for protecting children, it’s about the systems coordinating better with the child’s best interests paramount.
Other highlights for September include attending the 2023 conference of SNAICC – the national voice for First Nations children, as well as participating in a meeting of Australian and New Zealand Children’s Commissioners, Advocates, and Guardians.