VOLUNTEERS and Staff who
work with children - such as sport
officials and service organisations
- should be screened and monitored by a special police unit, a child
protection inquiry recommends.
The inquiry by Ms Robyn Layton,
QC, also calls for the maintenance
of a special register for people
Employers would be able to check
the register before employing people
to work in child-related areas and
would also have the right to require
declarations from applicants.
People likely to be on the register
include those convicted of sexual or
violent offences and those who have
undergone a disciplinary hearing
where similar inappropriate conduct
has been found.
There would also be a temporary
register for people charged with offences or subject to allegations.
Treatment programs for child-sex
offenders when in jail, while on parole
or while in diversionary programs
were also proposed.
Premier Mike Rann, who told Parliament yesterday
that the recommendations would be considered
once the full report by Ms Layton
was completed, said: "We need to
better identify, track and monitor
sex offenders in order to prevent
them from offending again."
Mandatory notifications of child
abuse in South Australia have increased
by more than 6000 to 16,000
in the four years to 2000-01.
Mr Rann said the figures were
The Inquiry, which began almost
12 months ago, also recommends:
A CHILD death and serious Injury
panel to review child deaths and
serious Injuries and advise on
strategies to prevent them.
ALL children and families in detention centres
be released into the
community as soon as possible,
CREATION of a child protection
board and a Commissioner for Children and Young Persons,
A CHARTER of rights for children
in care to be developed and enshrined in law.
MAKING giving evidence in court
a less frightening ordeal for children
by allowing them to give evidence in
other ways including by video.
Ms Layton's report says that making many of
the changes would require major changes to existing laws.
Mr Rann promised a close review
of the recommendations and further
Parliament was told that Ms
Layton's final report would run to
nearly 900 pages with more than 200
recommendations. It is expected
be released within a month.
Catholic welfare organisation
Centacare chief executive Dale West
said he applauded the reports recommendations although his
organisation had implemented many of
Adelaide Advertiser (18-2-2003)