Child protection authorities and community organisations

External child protection authorities and community organisations who facilitate in the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

Commission for children and young people

The Commission for Children and Young People (the Commission) was established on 1 March 2013 through enactment of the Commission for Children and Young People Act 2012, replacing the Office of the Child Safety Commissioner and previous legislative provisions contained in the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act.

The Commission reports directly to Parliament and is independent of government. Its primary role is the promotion of continuous improvement and innovation in:

  • Policies and practices relating to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people generally, and in particular those who are vulnerable
  • The provision of out of home care services for children.

The Commission has strengthened powers and functions appropriate to, and consistent with the broader role and independence of the new Commission. It will also retain former Child Safety Commissioner’s functions.

For more information, see the Commission for Children and Young People website.

Suitability Panel

The Suitability Panel investigates allegations of physical and sexual abuse against a child or young person in an out of home care service. A panel (Suitability Panel) assesses whether an allegation of physical or sexual abuse against a child is proved and whether, as a result, an individual is found to pose an unacceptable risk of harm to children and is therefore disqualified from being registered to care for children.

The Suitability Panel can decide:

  • Whether an out-of-home carer should be disqualified from being on the register of carers, or
  • Whether a carer's disqualification should be removed.

Who can make a notification?

Any person may report or make a notification to the Secretary of the department alleging physical or sexual abuse by a foster carer or a residential out-of-home carer towards a child or young person under the age of 18 years at the time of the alleged abuse.

Following a notification, the Secretary of the department will decide whether to have the matter investigated. Instances of alleged abuse dating from 7 December 2002 may be investigated. An independent investigator will conduct the investigation and report to the Secretary. The Secretary will then decide whether or not to refer the matter to the Suitability Panel.

National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN)

This organisation is an independent Australian charity committed to stopping child abuse. Established in 1987, NAPCAN made history by becoming the first national organisation to promote united approach to child protection and related issues.

NAPCAN produces national campaigns and distributes free resources that promote positive and practical actions to stop child abuse. They work with federal, state government and non-government organisations to develop child protection legislation, policies and practices that are in the best interests of children.

For more information, see the NAPCAN website.