South Australia is having an overhaul of its Child Protection Laws.
The inquiry is led by Ms Robyn Layton QC.
MAKO put a SUBMISSION into this review in June 02.
Parliment will consider the nearly 900 page Layton report with over 200
recommendations once completed(within a month)..
Premier Mike Rann said,
"We need to better identify,track
and moniter sex offenders in order to prevent them from offending again".
- SA PAEDOPHILE REGISTER -
JUSTICE SYSTEM FAILING CHILD ABUSE VICTIMS
THE state's criminal justice system
fails children while government
child protection services are
struggling to cope with demand,
a new report says.
Commissioned by the State Government
and written by Robyn
Layton, QC, the report calls for more
funding for child protection in South
Australia and major reforms - including
a register of pedophiles.
Family and Youth Services, within
the Department of Human Services,
is ill-equipped to cope with child
abuse in SA as the number of reported
cases in the past six years has
jumped 60 per cent, the report saya.
Ms Layton said yesterday FAYS
funding allocation constituted just
6.3 per cent of the department's
"You can see a very small amount
of money is spent on one of the most
vital bodies that we have to assist
in child protection," she said.
Meanwhile, just 17 per cent of
reported, child sexual abuse cases
had led to prosecution in 2000-01.
Ms Layton says welfare Of children
in SA is compromised by a system
which fails to advocate for them.
"It is quite clear that the criminal
justice system has not worked for
children," Ms Layton said.
FAYS had been undersourced for
some years "and they are struggling
to do what they already do, and they
need more money to do what they
do, but also another way of approaching
In her report, Our Best Investment
- a state plan to protect and advance
the interests of ctuldren, Ms Layton
makes more than 200 recommendations
in a 400- plus page review of
Included in her key recommendations
are: THE appointment of a
commissioner and a guardian for
ESTABLISHING a panel to investigate
child, deaths and serious injury,
and a child protection board.
SETTING up a treatment program
for child-sex offenders within
the prison system, based at Port
A NEW offence to be introduced to
target suspicious deaths of babies.
Ms Layton also calls for a move to
allow child victims to give evidence
without having to appear in court.
She also wants more options for
dealing with child sex offenders, including
civil proceedings where the
burden of proof would be based on
balance of proto abilities and more
The report also calls for an SA
police-administered register of child
Employers in child-related areas
including schools, sporting and religious
groups could use the register
to check on staff and volunteer
Premier Mike Rann told State Parliament
yesterday the Government
supported the register.
"Pedophiles should be hunted
down, prosecuted and locked away,"
"I am pleased that the Layton
Report has recommended the establishment
of a register where
pedophiles and others who pose a
risk will he deemed unsuitable to
work with children and therefore
listed on the register."
Mr Rann said the "most extensive
review of child protection ever undertaken
in this state's history" would
now be considered by Cabinet.
Social Justice Minister Stephanie
Key admitted taking up the recommendations
would require significant government funding. '
"It will have resource implications
for the State Government, we understand that," she said.
"It will also mean in many in-
stances that we need to realign our
SA Council of Social Service said
the report showed "clear evidence of
neglect in child and family welfare
The Public Service Association
called on the Government to commit
more funding to Family and Youth
Services urgently in light of the report's findings. .