Children and Community Services Act 2004 Review
The Children and Community Services Act 2004 (the Act) came into effect on 1 March 2006 replacing child welfare laws in Western Australian that were over fifty years old. The Department of Communities (the Department) is the Agency principally assisting the Minister for Child Protection in administration of the Act.
A statutory review of the operation and effectiveness of the Children and Community Services Act 2004 (the Review) was required in 2017 under section 249 of the Act. The Child Protection and Family Support division of the Department conducted the Review on behalf of the Minister for Child Protection, the Hon. Simone McGurk MLA: a Review Committee considered terms of reference one to four below, and other matters related to the operation and effectiveness of the Act, and a Legal Working Group considered term of reference five
Terms of Reference
The Review’s terms of reference were to examine the operation and effectiveness of the Act as a whole and in particular:
- changes to support the introduction of consistent high-quality foster carer standards through a single decision-maker for approvals and revocations;
- the principles relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in sections 12 to 14 and the consultation requirement in section 81;
- any changes necessary to support the safety and wellbeing of adults and children subject to family and domestic violence;
- the provisions relating to secure care arrangements for children at high-risk; and
- issues relating to the intersection between child protection proceedings under Part 5 of the Act and proceedings in the Family Court.
On 1 December 2016, a four month consultation period commenced with the release of Review of the Children and Community Services Act 2004: Consultation Paper. Consultation also occurred with Aboriginal organisations and community members in regional areas.
Report of the review
The Minister tabled a report of the Review in Parliament on 28 November 2017 – Statutory Review of the Children and Community Services Act 2017.