OPG media release

23 February 2017

Public Guardian commends work to strengthen Child Protection Act 1999

Queensland’s Public Guardian, Natalie Siegel-Brown, is pleased that attention has been drawn today to the work that is currently being done to strengthen safeguards in the Child Protection Act 1999.

The Public Guardian is an independent statutory office that protects the rights, interests and wellbeing of vulnerable Queenslanders, including children and young people in out-of-home care.

Ms Siegel-Brown said her role had oversight functions and powers for some children and young people in the child protection system, and she also had responsibility to ensure any reporting of her views were factually correct.

“I welcomed the opportunity to provide a submission on many issues impacting on children and young people in care to the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, in response to The next chapter in child protection legislation for Queensland: Options Paper as part of the review of the Child Protection Act 1999.

“Even without anecdote or allegation, such a scheme would be desirable to fill a gap in the current regulation,” said Ms Siegel-Brown.

“I find the labelling of children in out-of-home care as ‘bad’ to be reprehensible. Children in state care are often experiencing trauma of child abuse and neglect and deserve to be treated with care and respect.

“The issue is not just about carer behaviour, but also the prescribing practices of doctors. I have already discussed the matter with the Australian Medical Association Queensland who have been receptive to the issue.”

The Public Guardian’s Submission The next chapter in child protection legislation for Queensland: Options Paper as part of the review of the Child Protection Act 1999 can be viewed in full here.

ENDS

Office of the Public Guardian media contact: (07) 3006 2589 or commed@publicguardian.qld.gov.au