AUS: Demand for National major reform & overhaul of State Gov Child Protection departments

AUS: Demand for National major reform & overhaul of State Gov Child Protection departments

6 December 2021
Signatures: 848Next goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Just Cause 316

ADDITION  "Please visit Facebook (Meta) Page "Just Cause 316" Click LIKE. Please feel welcome to email or message via the Page"

As there are allegations of similar incidents and concerns of Maladministration, Corruption and harm to Children and Youth due to actions / inactions of the relevant Government Department, this petition is amended to be beyond Queensland and include ALL Australian States and Territories. 

Just Cause 316 seeks national Major Reform, Transparency and Accountability across Australia.

We are either Enabling or Advocating whether choosing to be For, Against or Indifferent.

Just Cause 316 is not a disgruntled parent whose child/children have been removed but is a stakeholder."


Callout for a collective voice to demand accountability, transparency, responsibility and major reform/overhaul, preferably by way of an independent and public investigation into ALL Australian States and Territories Child Protection departments such as or similar to, the Queensland Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs (CYJMA) aka Child Safety.

Furthermore, into the involvement of other departments such as or similar to Queensland Health, Queensland Police Services, Office of the Public Guardian, Crime and Corruption Commission, Queensland Human Rights Commission, Youth Justice and the Queensland Ombudsman on matters concerning children and youth, particularly, but not limited to, children in care.

An independent public investigation is sought for ALL Australian States and Territories into ALL feedback raising concerns of corruption, maladministration, and allegations of harm to children by actions and inactions of the department. Plus, allegations of reprisal for raising such concerns and their detrimental impacts.

To minimise retribution for this petition, its anonymously created by Just Cause 316.


Countless people whether public servants, children in care, community groups and organisations, families, foster families, churches and other stake holders that have tried to be a voice of change regarding legitimate concerns. This is often done by talking to departmental staff and/or via an over complicated, lengthy, and seemingly biased, unfair complaint management process. Too often, to little avail.

There are inconsistencies from one Child Safety Service Centre to another, in the manner they manage and engage children in care, their families, foster families, organisations and more. 

Then those tragic cases, where there has been inadequate investigation and removal of children.

Often, children and youth, justifiably and unjustifiably, are forcibly removed from their family without having had adequate support of appropriate diversion programs beforehand.

Then, often there is insufficient or no support in meeting these children’s needs and rights, let alone in a timely manner.

Instead of respecting their rights and meeting their needs, they become lost in the system, failing to be connected to healthy family members, parent/parents’ rights not respected, foster families/residential homes not adequately supported, departmental staff performing in a hypervigilant, defensive culture.

Whilst there are some exceptional departmental staff that serve our community well, calls for more departmental internal support and training seemingly have also failed to be met. There are staff that are burning out not just because of the type of role it is, but because they are trying to fight against the detrimental culture from within the department itself. 

Countless persons speak of times where actions and inactions by departmental workers violated Human Rights. Persons failing to be treated with dignity and respect.

Children and Youth, instead of receiving appropriate diversion and therapeutic programs in a timely manner, are forced/coerced into situations that subject them to harm thus, further significant trauma. Even though they do not developmentally have the ability nor capacity to regulate their emotions to cope with this form of mismanagement, they are seemingly unrealistically expected to anyway.

Countless people suffer and continue to suffer retribution when speaking out against corruption, maladministration, and violations of Human Rights. Often, this retribution detrimentally impacts the children and youth.

Some departmental responses, seemingly spiteful as there is no other apparent logical reason for it, when the child/youth is supposed to be working towards reunification with their loving and devoted parent/parents, the child/youth have forcibly been moved (sometimes remained) in a separate region to their parent/parents despite opportunity for that child to be located near family and healthily supported. 

The seemingly intentional, harmful destruction of a family unit not only goes against good moral and ethical practices, but also the Rights of a Child, Human Rights and legal rights. Child Protection staff and other government officials seemingly acting like a law unto themselves corrupts the purpose of what the department alleges it is about. 

Despite Queensland having the statutory body, the former Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland now, Queensland Human Rights Commission, they are limited in any real power to legally resolve Human Rights violations.

Often, political power play is at hand. For example, CYJMA departmental staff, including management, openly state they hold the power and that others know how it works. Intimidation and Bullying is actively present in their culture. They are after all, the ones that fund organisations. 

Children and Youth are set up to fail when they are unable to cope with this form of mismanagement. They act out. There are stories of them being hospitalised, forcibly sedated. Cases where they are arrested, as young as 10 years old. Sitting in an adult watch house, sometimes unbeknownst to the parent, interviewed without a parent/guardian, advocate, or legal representative present. This is in inexcusable, unnecessarily creating further complex trauma. 

Children have been harmed and neglected directly by government employees and yet, no discipline or charges laid.

These types of violations and more are consistently occurring against our Children/Youth, both first nation people and not. First nation people however are disproportionately represented in this form of Child Protection system and the justice system. 

This occurs to children/youth despite the imminent risk of suicide and self-harm. It creates an overwhelming lack of public trust and faith in the State Government.

We, the people that fund and enable this seemingly business model that lacks consistent effective, respectful, client focused care, must be a voice of hope, of reason and a voice that demands change. We seemingly can only do this if we collectively make enough noise. 

Child Safety is everyone’s business. We must collectively fight for transparency, accountability, responsibility and reform.

The Queensland Government established the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry (the Commission of Inquiry) on 1 July 2012 to review if the Queensland child protection system was best supporting vulnerable children and young people. The Commission of Inquiry was led by the Honourable Tim Carmody QC.

The Commission of Inquiry was charged with:

  • reviewing the entire child protection system, and making affordable, sustainable, deliverable and effective recommendations for legislative and operational reforms
  • charting a roadmap for achieving a new child protection system over the next decade.

Commissioner Tim Carmody, QC presented his final reports to the Queensland Government on 1 July 2013. There is much to be done to create a new child protection system. The decade is fast approaching.

These findings can be read in Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection

In 2004, former Crime and Misconduct Commission now known as Crime and Corruption Commission released a document regarding Protecting children: an inquiry into abuse of children in foster care.

The Family support and child protection system Performance Audit 4 August 2020 does not seem to transparently inform how many allegations of corruption, maladministration and reprisal. It does not mention that their database that links to another child protection agency was not effectively transporting data thus, there was confusion as to a child in care’s where abouts.

Northern Territory Royal Commission and Spit hoods

Despite there being a Royal Commission announced on 28 July 2016 by the then Prime Minister, and the Final Report released on 17 November 2017, there are still ongoing violations of children and youth rights! Spit hoods still being used. This is what we know of. Imagine of what we do not know.

Change sought:

  •  We expect to see action! Stop the talk, year after year, decade after decade. Real tangible lasting change.
  • Independent investigation 
  •  This matter to be made of public interest
  •  Seek Accountability, Transparency and Responsibility
  •  Immediate investigation, intervention and protection for children        and youth currently allegedly suffering from ongoing departmental abuse and neglect
  •  Increase the age of children and youth who can be charged with criminal offences. Increasing from the age of 10 years old to an age where they can legally be considered independent by the Commonwealth (eg. Centrelink)
  •  All children must be visited face to face by an Office of the Public Guardian appointed Community Visitor within 4 to 6 weeks of being in care
  •   Decrease funding for incarcerating children and youth 
  •   Increase funding for effective diversion programs with a therapeutic foundation
  • Liaise with Tasmania with its new approach to the Youth Justice system. Implement similar Youth Justice System.
  • State Government's acknowledgement, accountability, transparency and responsibility for failings of departments management, actions and inactions that have detrimentally harmed our children and youth
  • Public apology to children, youth and their families where Child Protection has failed and caused harm by actions and inactions of departmental staff
  • Improve or remove Public Servants whom legitimate corruption and/or maladministration complaints have been lodged against.
  • Corrupt workers charged and held accountable in accordance with the full weight of the law
  • Review and overhaul of Mental Health services for children and youth
  • Liaise with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community organisations about appropriate cultural changes then, promptly implement them.
  • Protect Whistle-blowers 
  • Review and overhaul organisational funding
  • Review and overhaul any alleged monetary incentives to public servants for removal of children and youth. Child Protection is not a business. It is a community public service
  • Young people in state care should have a place they call home and support until the age of 21 as per The Home Stretch advocacy. 
  • Complete overhaul of the current Child Protection systems. Concurrent, transitional period of two years whereby the old systems to be discontinued and implementation of entirely new one. No reform of previous ones.
  • Coercive Control and Government Violence to be recognised and defined in law that carries penalties. 
  • Explore expansion of citizen rights when addressing corrupt and maladministration within the Government departments.
  • Federal Government to have greater jurisdiction over child protection cases when all avenues of investigation have been exhausted at State Level and there are significant concerns regarding harm of a child by actions and inactions of State Government Departments.

This petition will be forwarded to the attention of:

  • All State Premier and Territory Chief Ministers
  • All State and Territory Leader of the Opposition
  • Australian Human Rights Commission
  • All State and Territory Attorney-General
  • All State and Territory Child Protection Ministers
  • All State and Territory Health Ministers
  • All State and Territory Police and Corrective Services Ministers
  • All State and Territory Ombudsman
  • All State and Territory like Queensland Foster and Kinship Care

For helpful information on the effects of Compound Trauma and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), please utilise links below:

Tearfund, Holding the effects of Compound Trauma

How Trauma Impacts Youth in Foster Care (Part 1 of 3)

How Trauma Impacts Youth in Foster Care (Part 2 of 3)

How Trauma Impacts Youth in Foster Care (Part 3 of 3)

#kidstoo #humanrights #justicematters #becausepeoplematter #justcause316 #queenslandgovernment #childsafety #childprotection #advocate #familymatters #DCYJMA #QPS #CYJMA #blacklivesmatter #fostercare #Australiangovernment

Interesting reads:

The Guardian: Australia's anguish: the indigenous kids trapped behind bars

The Guardian: Age of criminal responsibility must be raised

Royal Commissions: The protection and detention of children in the Northern Territory

3 Dec 2021 The Guardian: Warning 'Cage Like' conditions for young people in the NT detention is 'history repeating'.




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Signatures: 848Next goal: 1,000
Support now