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Commission's submission - Five Year Plans for Out of Home Care

Read the Commission's submission

Interested in volunteering?

We are looking for people interested in being a part of our Independent Visitor Program at the Melbourne and Malmsbury Youth Justice Centres.

To find out more please call Chris Galea on 8601 5894.

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The Commission for Children and Young People

The Commission for Children and Young People has been established to promote continuous improvement and innovation in:

  • policies and practices relating to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people generally, and in particular those who are vulnerable
  • the provision of out of home care services for children.

The Commission acts with independence and impartiality, demonstrating integrity and respect.

News and events

Commission to conduct an inquiry into the permanency amendments

The Commission will soon commence an inquiry into the permanency changes arising from the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Permanent Care and Other Matters) Act 2014. The changes took effect in March 2016, and the inquiry will examine the evidence available after the first six months of their operation to consider whether the amendments are improving permanency for children and young people and whether they have lead to unintended consequences.

Read more about the Commission to conduct an inquiry into the permanency amendments

Child Safe Standards update

The Commission is supporting organisations that work with children to meet the Child Safe Standards by 1 January 2017. As part of this process we are issuing a request for quotation to deliver sector specific training. If you think your peak body organisation is well placed to deliver this training, please contact the Commission's Child Safe Standards Information Line on 8601 5281 for further information.

View the list of in scope organisations for Child Safe Standards

NT footage reminds us the end result of a ‘tough on crime’ approach to children

The stories about the abuse of children in custody in the Northern Territory are devastating. The footage aired last Monday night showed children being tear-gassed without cause, a child stripped naked and held down by multiple adult men, and the same child left hooded and restrained for hours in the kind of contraptions we associate with Guantanamo Bay.

These images have shocked us to the core, and rightly so.

Read the NT footage reminds us the end result of a ‘tough on crime’ approach to children opinion piece (Word, 66kb)

Reflections On National Reconciliation Week 2016

National Reconciliation Week marks a definitive time where non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal people come together as a nation, strive to correct the errors of the past and learn more about our shared cultures.

Read more about National Reconciliation Week 2016

Getting tough is not the answer

The past week has seen a resurgence of calls to get tough on children and young people who break the law. Prompted by new bail laws for under eighteen year olds that took effect on Monday, we have heard dire warnings: we are going ‘soft’ on young offenders; we’re in the midst of a ‘youth crime wave’; community safety will suffer. There have even been calls to step back in time and start dealing with sixteen and seventeen year olds under the adult criminal justice system.

Read Kids and crime: getting tough is not the answer

Announcement: State budget

The Commission for Children and Young People is pleased to note a number of commitments intended to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people in today’s state budget.

The $168 million investment to support the ‘Roadmap for Reform’ policy directions in child protection will support greater emphasis on prevention and early intervention, a focus the Commission has long advocated.

Read the media release announcing the budget statement (pdf, 1.1mb)

Announcement: statement on Roadmap for Reform

The state government this month launched its Roadmap for Reform, promising “once in a generation” changes to improve support for children and families.

Read the media release announcing the statement on Roadmap for Reform (pdf, 1.0mb)

A new principal commissioner begins

Liana Buchanan, the new Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People.

We welcome Liana Buchanan, the new Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People.

Lawyer and advocate, she is a part-time commissioner with the Victorian Law Reform Commission and was most recently the Executive Officer of the Federation of Community Legal Centres. She has also been responsible for monitoring the Victorian corrections system as Director, Office of Correctional Services Review and has held legal and policy positions in a number of agencies including the Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria, Office for the Status of Women (SA) and Women’s Legal Service (SA).

Read the media release announcing Liana Buchanan's commencement (pdf, 1.1mb)

Child Safe Standards

The Commission is now responsible for assisting Category 1 and 2 organisations that need to be compliant with the new mandatory child safe standards:

  • Phase 1: Organisations that provide services for children that are government funded and/or regulated are required to work towards compliance from 1 January 2016.
  • Registered schools have until 1 August 2016 to be compliant with the standards.
  • Phase 2: Other organisations that provide services for children are required to comply from 1 January 2017.

View details about the Child Safe Standards

Royal Commission into Family Violence (Victoria)

We welcome the report of the Commission and its focus on children. In particular, that intervention systems for children will be strengthened as well as responses for Koori women and children.

Read the Royal Commission into Family Violence (Victoria) final report and recommendations


Our core functions include:

  1. Providing advice to Ministers, Government Departments, health services and human services relating to the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people.
  2. Promoting the interests of vulnerable Victorian children and young people.
  3. Conducting inquiries into service provision or omission in regard to:
    • children who have died and were known to child protection at the time of their death or 12 months before their death
    • the safety and wellbeing of an individual or group of vulnerable children and young people
    • a health service, human service or school where there are persistent or recurring systemic concerns.
  4. Monitoring Victoria's out of home care system and promoting child inclusive decision making.
  5. Monitoring and reporting on the implementation and effectiveness of strategies relevant to the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people.
  6. Promoting child-friendly and child safe policies and practices in Victoria.
  7. Providing advice to the Minister about child safety as requested.
  8. Reviewing and reporting on the administration of the Working with Children Act 2005 and educating and informing the community about the Act.
  9. Any other functions given to the Commission by the Act or any other Act.

For more detailed information about the Commission's functions, see Legislation and Policy