QCOSS congratulates the Queensland Government on the Child Protection Reform and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 and welcomes this significant step towards better protection of the human rights of children who are interacting with the child protection system and improving adherence to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (‘CPP’). We also acknowledge the significant contribution made by specialist peak bodies and the social services sector in the development of the Bill.
We are broadly supportive of the Bill on the basis that it has the potential to improve the human rights protections of children who are interacting with the child protection system. The importance of the views and wishes of children being taken into consideration when decisions are made about them cannot be understated. The Bill will provide additional opportunities for this to occur.
QCOSS has been consulted in the development of the Bill and through this process, has had the opportunity to develop an understanding of the perspectives of some of our members and other important stakeholders. This submission has been informed by these perspectives. QCOSS also acknowledges the expertise of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak and Peak Care and asks that the Committee gives particular attention to the views of these specialist peak bodies.
While we are broadly supportive of this reform, we have identified several opportunities to strengthen the Bill to ensure the legislative intent of reinforcing and strengthening children’s rights and voices, improving adherence to the CPP and ensuring adequate supports are provided to families is achieved.