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WEEDING OUT ADULTS WHO CAN'T BE TRUSTED




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 deemed "unsuitable".
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 "appalling".
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 public consultation,
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 them already.


Adelaide Advertiser (18-2-2003)
Greg Kelton.



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