Child protection shake-up on the cards for Territory Alliance if elected
By Natasha Emeck
29 July 2020
THE Office of the Children’s Commissioner will be empowered to regularly visit kids in out-of-home care to assess their health and wellbeing without notice under a new program proposed by Territory Alliance.
Territory Alliance leader Terry Mills will unveil his party’s child protection policy platform at tonight’s leaders’ debate hosted by the NT Council of Social Services.
They proposed five key policy changes including establishing a Child Advocacy visitor program which allow delegates from a statutory bodycheck on children in foster care, kinship care or residential care.
“Child Advocacy Visitors will be delegates of the Children’s Commissioner,” the policy paper said.
“They will provide independent scrutiny and advice regarding systems of care for children and young people in care.”
Mr Mills said Territory Alliance will also trial a program to extend NT’s current out-of-home care maximum age from 18 to 21 years.
The party also want to establish a family support service to provide a single point of contact for people to access advice, assistance and referral on parenting and child safety.
“Right now if Territory Families refers a child at risk to a Non-Government organisation for intensive family support the file is closed, the disconnect from wraparound supports puts our vulnerable children at risk. It has to change,’ Mr Mills said.
“We need to break the tragic cycle that put 1,056 Northern Territory children, 90 per cent of who were Aboriginal of Torres Strait Islander, in out-of-home care at the 30th last year.”
This article was published by NT News on 29 July 2020 .
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