South Australia has established 4 oversight and advocacy bodies for children and young people (birth to 18 years) in the Children and Young People Oversight and Advocacy Bodies Act 2016. The Act creates a legislative framework for the rights, development and wellbeing of children and young people in South Australia.
The 4 independent oversight and advocacy entities include:
- Child Development Council
- Commissioner for Children and Young People
- Guardian for Children and Young People
- Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee
The Child Development Council and Outcomes Framework
The Child Development Council’s primary function is to develop a whole-of-state, whole-of-government, Outcomes Framework for Children and Young People (Outcomes Framework) that must include a Charter for Children and Young People (Charter) in the 5 dimensions of health, safety, wellbeing, education and citizenship.
The Outcomes Framework has been described as a whole-of-state, whole-of-government (state and local) scorecard or a way or means of telling how SA’s children and young people are developing and progressing over time. The main focus of the Outcomes Framework will be to track, monitor and report on the agreed outcomes to be achieved for all children and young people in SA.
The Charter represents a shared commitment to promote the wellbeing of SA’s children and young people and it will set out the conditions that allow every child and young person to thrive.
The Act requires the Council to prepare and maintain an Outcomes Framework (including the Charter) and to advise, and report to, the Government on the effectiveness of the Outcomes Framework in improving the outcomes of children and young people in terms of:
- keeping children and young people safe from harm
- ensuring that children and young people are cared for in a way that allows them to realise their potential
- improving the physical and mental health, and the emotional wellbeing, of children and young people
- improving the participation of children and young people in educational and vocational training
- improving the participation of children and young people in sporting, creative, cultural and other recreational activities
- ensuring that children and young people are properly prepared for taking their position in society as responsible citizens
- maintaining the cultural identity of children and young people
The Council will promote the implementation of the Outcomes Framework in respect of matters affecting children and young people under state law, and work collaboratively with State authorities (including all state and local government bodies); Commonwealth agencies; industry, professional and community groups; and all organisations with functions relevant to the Council’s work.
The Council commenced its work on 28 March 2018 under the leadership of Dr Anne Glover AO, Presiding Member, who leads a Council membership with national and international experience and expertise that includes education, health, disability, epidemiology, youth justice, guardianship and bullying.
The Outcomes Framework, once gazetted, will guide the SA government’s work for children and young people and target policy, legislation, funding and services to improve the outcomes of young South Australians.
The Charter will represent a shared commitment to promote the development, wellbeing and rights of South Australia’s youngest citizens and set out the conditions that would allow every child and young person to thrive.
In preparing the Outcomes Framework, the Council is consulting extensively and engaging children and young people, and their parents, carers and families. The Children and Young People (Oversight and Advocacy Bodies) Regulations 2017 sets out the consultation requirements.
The Council is ensuring an appropriate focus on the needs of priority population groups and is developing performance indicators against which progress in relation to the development and wellbeing of children and young people in the State can be tracked over time.
After an initial targeted consultation phase in December 2018 and January 2019, the potential indicators and measures are now available for public consultation.
The Council will run focus groups and forums with children and young people during the public consultation.
To find out more about the council, visit the Child Development Council website.