“The goal for us all must be a system that is child focused, community involved, evidence based, locally tailored and providing support for children and families as early as possible.”
Commissioner Mick Gooda
About the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory
The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory was established on 1 August 2016 by the Northern Territory and Commonwealth Governments in response to serious concerns raised about the child protection and youth detention systems in the Northern Territory.
In the final report delivered on 17 November 2017, the Royal Commission found that in many cases the systems that were designed to keep children and the community safe did the opposite.
It also highlighted the gross overrepresentation of Aboriginal children and young people in government care and within the youth justice system, and emphasised the importance of supporting Aboriginal people, communities and organisations to take a leadership role in designing and delivering the services they need.
So what’s being done?
The Northern Territory Government is taking action and is investing more than $229.6 million over the next five years to introduce reforms to keep children and the community safe.
The Northern Territory Government’s Plan - Safe, Thriving and Connected: Generational Change for Children and Families outlines how whole-of-government action in collaboration with the community sector will deliver historic reforms in the Territory.
How will this affect the community?
We know that services are most effective when they are shaped by the people who use them.
Aboriginal communities, leaders and organisations will play a key role in the delivery of reform.
Working alongside and supporting them will be other members of the community sector as well as both the Northern Territory and Commonwealth Governments.
The new approach will emphasise supporting families earlier to address the issues that lead families and young people into child protection and youth justice.
The reforms will also improve the operation of the child protection and youth justice systems and ensure that those young people and families who find themselves involved with these systems have a chance to turn things around and make better choices for themselves in the future.
Major reforms include:
How will we know it’s working?
The Northern Territory Government will report publicly each year on the progress and impact of these reforms.
To learn more about the reforms and the planned approach, keep returning to this website for updates.
Download the Implementation Plan Safe, Thriving and Connected: Generational Change for Children and Families
Download the Overview of the Implementation Plan Safe, Thriving and Connected: Generational Change for Children and Families
In early August, Inspector Lienert attended in Darwin and met with NT Police staff, Executive, Youth Engagement Officers, Territory Families representatives, the Reform Management Office, Law Reform experts and Department of Education Executives.
Ms Donna Ah Chee was officially appointed by the relevant NT and Commonwealth government Ministers on Monday 9 July 2018, given her wealth of experience in other Chair roles and her strong track record of achievement as CEO of Central Australian Aboriginal Congress.
Safe, Thriving and Connected: Generational Change for Children and Families
Throughout April and May, the Northern Territory Government and Reform Management Office held briefings about Safe, Thriving and Connected: Generational Change for Children and Families in regional centres across the Northern Territory.