The Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian was established in 2000 to promote and protect the rights, interests and wellbeing of children and young people in Queensland. Previously, it was known as the Queensland Children's Commission (established in 1996). The Commission ceased operations on 30 June 2014. Many of the Commission's functions moved to other agencies from 1 July 2014 as part of the implementation of far-reaching recommendations from the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry (Carmody Review).
The Commission was established to be concerned with the interests of children and young people who:
[Taken from the Commission for Children, Young People and Child Guardian web resource]
The Queensland Children's Commission was originally established under the Children's Commissioner and Children's Services Appeals Tribunal Act 1996 (Qld), with the Commissioner reporting to the Minister for Families, Youth and Community Care.
In September 1998, the Government commissioned John Briton to conduct an independent review of the Children's Commissioner and Children's Services Appeals Tribunals Act 1996 (Qld). The review was completed and a report and recommendations (The "Briton Report") were submitted to Government in April 1999.
In August 1998 (i.e. At the same time as the Briton review) the Commission of Inquiry into the Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions (the "Forde Inquiry") was established to report on the care and treatment of children in out-of-home residential facilities and juvenile detention centres. The Inquiry also reported on the general deficiencies it perceived in the legislative framework for children in institutions and made a number of recommendations designed to strengthen the Children's Commission.
The recommendations of Forde Inquiry and Briton Report were largely taken up by the Government and reflected in the introduction of the Commission for Children and Young People Act 2000.
The Act extended the Commission's mandate as an advocate for all children and young people in Queensland, established the Commission as an independent statutory body, expanded the community visitor program and increased the Commission's powers and functions in relation to complaint handling. An employment screening program (later to be called the blue card system) for child-related employment was also introduced as a key prevention and early intervention mechanism to mitigate risks to children in certain service environments. Since its inception in 2001, this system has been regularly reviewed, expanded and strengthened by Parliament and is recognised as the most comprehensive and rigorous child focused employment screening and monitoring function of its type in Australia.
In August 2003 the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) initiated a public inquiry into abuse of children in foster care. The inquiry was run in parallel to two separate investigations initiated by the CMC on the same subject and drew from a separate audit of notifications of children in foster care conducted for the Government by Ms Gwenn Murray.
The CMC's subsequent report Protecting children: an inquiry into abuse of children in foster care was submitted to the Government in January 2004. The report identified significant failings in the child protection system and called for comprehensive reforms to the system.
The Government's subsequent 2004 "blue print" in response to the CMC report and Murray audit recommendations further expanded the Commission's functions and powers, including the assignment of the role of "Child Guardian" to the Commissioner.
The Commission's increased oversight function (which remains today) was reflected in the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000 of August 2004.
Sources used to compile this entry: Commission for Children, Young People and Child Guardian, State of Queensland, 2011, http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/14014/20140630-0820/www.ccypcg.qld.gov.au/index-2.html.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 6 August 2012, Last modified: 24 January 2018