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CRC funded reports

F. Target audiences for this report

published in:
Family violence : young people and youth sector workers, informing government about the implementation of mandatory reporting in Victoria
Danny Sandor and Julian Bondy
ISBN 07311 0575 3
Fitzroy, Vic. : Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, 1995
Criminology Research Council grant ; (15/93-4)
October 1995

i) The Victorian Minister for Health and Community Services, the Victorian Minister for Youth Affairs and their opposition counterparts.

Our recommendations have significant implications for the Departments headed by these Ministers. We are conscious that there a political dimensions to our recommendations and wish to avoid these overshadowing the human rights, practice and policy aspects of the report. We seek to promote a bipartisan approach to discussion of this report.

ii) The New South Wales Juvenile Crime Prevention Unit.

The findings and data from this report have direct relevance to the New South Wales Attorney-General's Department as a result of the Standing Committee on Social Issues of the Legislative Council, Parliament of New South Wales issued its Report Into Youth Violence in New South Wales.

iii) The inquiry into children and the legal process.

On 28 August 1995, the Attorney-General asked the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission to inquire into children and the legal process. Two specific areas cited as areas to be considered inlcude:

The material contained in this report is of direct relevance to these aspects of the inquiry. In addition, the transcripts contain young people's comments on associated issues which arose in focus groups, such as police treatment and mistreatment, standards of care experienced. Such comments are too often excxluded from consideration of their needs.

iv) The Commonwealth Minister for Family Services

Between March and September 1994, the former Acting Deputy Director (Research) of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Ms. Moira Rayner, co-ordinated a report for the Minister titled The Commonwealth's Role in Preventing Child Abuse. The final draft of the report was forwarded to the Minister in January 1995. The report contained the following recommendation:

"Recommendation 1

The Commonwealth should explicitly accept its primary responsibility to protect the rights of children, and young people and so prevent child abuse, as a Government, across portfolio areas.

The Minister for the Family should take the initiative in seeking and obtaining the support of the Prime Minister for the establishment of a common policy across portfolio areas, firstly to protect and promote the right of children by promoting the effective functioning of their families, and secondly to support the prevention of child abuse

We believe that the Commonwealth should develop a clear statement of its position on matters affecting children in the family, based on its acceptance of partnership with families, and the Commonwealth's and family members' obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We believe that the Commonwelath should explicitly acknowledge that its responsibility to prevent "child abuse" incorporates all children, from infancy through adolescence." (p. 82).

These issues which emerged in the present study are relevant to this recommendation and likely to assist the Commonwealth Government's policy development in the area of adolescent abuse.

v) Standing Committee of Social Welfare Administrators.

Unless one views the results in this study as uniquely Victorian (and we do not), the report has significant implications for all States and Territories. All bar Western Australia have mandatory reporting legislation in a variety of forms and none take account of young people's right to take an active part in the process of notification and investigation. The researchers cannot comment on the internal Departmental Guidelines which may exist.

vi) National Children's and Youth Law Centre.

The Centre is currently developing a Charter of Children and Young People's Rights based on the Convention. We consider that this report will positively inform its their work.

vii) Australian Association of Young People in Care

This peak national organisation is set up for and by children and young people who are, or have been in protective systems. The organisation is well-placed to approach members who can consider what State based findings might assist the particular needs of other jursidictions.

(viii) Training providers

The survey results of this study have relevance for institutions providing post secondary education of youth sector workers as well as field based training services.

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