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Child Protection Systems Royal Commission

The Child Protection Systems Royal Commission was established in 2014 to investigate the child protection system in South Australia.

Royal Commissioner Margaret Nyland and her team looked at the laws, policies, practices and structures currently in place for children at risk of harm, abuse or neglect.

The royal commission:

  • heard from 381 witnesses
  • received 374 submissions
  • examined 10,800 documents
  • conducted 74 stakeholder engagements.
'The life they deserve' - Child Protection Systems Royal Commission report

Read the recommendations to improve the child protection system in South Australia.

The life they deserve - full report (PDF 15.95MB)

Terms of reference (PDF 164KB)

You can also read the report in sections.

Volume 1: summary and report

Preface, summary and recommendations (PDF 623KB)

Part I - Introduction (PDF 360KB)

Part II - Challenges (PDF 533KB)

Part III - Children at risk in the community (PDF 1.06 MB)

Part IV - Children in out of home care (PDF 1.64 MB)

Part V - Children with diverse needs (PDF 1.36 MB)

Part VI - System wide changes to improve safety (PDF 556KB)

Appendices (PDF 214KB)


In Chapter 22: Promoting System Transparency in Part VI: System-Wide Changes to Improve Safety, the third sentence of the fourth paragraph under the heading ‘Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee’ on page 584 reads:

'Private members receive a retention allowance of approximately $5,600 per year and are paid sitting fees.'

The correct information is:

'Private members are offered sitting fees for attendance at committee meetings only. Some members opt to waive their entitlement to those fees. Government employees do not receive sitting fees as membership is considered part of their substantive employment. The Chair receives an annual retention allowance of $7200.'

Volume 2 - case studies

    Papers prepared for the royal commission

    Government's response to the royal commission

    The government responded to recommendations in:

    • A Fresh Start report
    • 2018 A Fresh Start progress report

    Read the reports and related information on the Department for Child Protection’s website.