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Child protection reform

Children and young people have a fundamental right to grow up happy and cared for, to be kept safe from harm and to be supported to fulfil their potential.

Child protection is everybody's business and parents, carers, communities and non-government service providers all play critical roles. 

The government is committed to reorienting and building better systems that protect our children, improving parenting practices and supporting our carer community.

Find out more about current child protection reform activities on the Department for Child Protection’s website.

Legislative reform

Children and Young People (Safety) Bill 2017

The Children and Young People (Safety) Bill 2017 passed Parliament on 6 July 2017.

The Bill replaces the Children’s Protection Act 1993 and ensures that keeping children and young people safe from harm is the priority. It also gives a voice and better representation to children and young people under custody and guardianship orders in decisions that will affect their lives.

Working with children checks

New laws have been passed by Parliament to strengthen background checks for people wanting to work or volunteer with children and young people.

Regulations are currently being drafted that will contain the specific rules and details of the new screening practices. Community and sector feedback will be sought on the regulations before the new laws commence.

Businesses can continue with their current screening practices until the new legislation commences.

Commissioner for Children and Young People

The Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Act 2016 passed Parliament on 19 October 2016.

As well as creating the position of Commissioner for Children and Young People, the Act co-ordinates the work of the Commissioner with the Guardian for Children and Young People, the Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee and a newly established Child Development Council.