'We must change our system': Contentious Tasmanian youth program to close after abuse investigation
The Tasmanian government has committed to end a controversial residential care program based in the Northern Territory following allegations of abuse.
Print text onlyPrintCancelThe Tasmanian government has committed to stop sending troubled youth to a controversial residential care program in the Northern Territory.Key points:The state government has accepted in full all recommendations to close a contentious youth program
Five Tasmanian children remain on site at the program's remote Northern Territory facilityOne of the recommendations made by a review panel is to bring the children homeAn expert panel has released its recommendations on a Tasmanian-based alternative to
Allan Brahminy's programand the government has accepted them in full.Head of the panel and Tasmania's commissioner for children and young people, Leanne McLean, said the transition would take time."The fact that we have needed to use an interstate therapeutic residential care program like MC1D (Many Colours One Direction) is an indication that our system has not met the needs of highly vulnerable children and young people," she said. headtopics.com
"The crux of this advice is that to achieve better outcomes for children and young people with highly complex needs, we must change our system."The panel made four key recommendations:Develop a whole-of-government approach to promote and drive systemic change
Develop the Tasmanian Out of Home Care system to improve its efficacy and increase and enhance placement options for children and young peopleTransition away from the utilisation of MC1D and commit to robust, inclusive and collaborative decision-making in relation to interstate residential placements of young people throughout the transition
Adopt a whole-of-government focus on implementation and investmentThe most significant recommendation is to bring home the five children who remain at the remote facility in the Northern Territory.Transition home critical to successMs McLean acknowledged it may take some time to establish the state-based programs recommended by the panel.
"There may be some instances where consideration of the utilisation of MC1D is required during the transition," she said."If that is the case, we have made a suite of recommendations to govern those decisions so they are more independent, more robust." headtopics.com
The panel's other priorities include implementing a state-based therapeutic model of foster care, new "on-country" programs in multiple locations that are delivered by multiple providers, and the establishment of a cross-sectional oversight group to monitor implementation of the panel's recommendations.
Sarah Courtney wants to move on from the problems that have plagued the Brahminy program.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)Children and Youth Minister Sarah Courtney said she has been advised the five Tasmanian children currently in MC1D were safe."The government has accepted in principle all recommendations made in this report including transitioning away from the use of MC1D," she said.
"I'm not going to re-prosecute history. What I'm looking at is how, as the minister of the day, I can take the recommendations from the expert panel and move forward."Systemic issues remainLawyer Sebastian Buscemi said the report was disappointing and did not say anything "of substance".
"The problem is with the system as a whole, not just children being sent to Brahminy, but the system that leads them there and the report vaguely acknowledges that," Mr Buscemi said."There's absolutely no substance to it. There's no plan, there's no time line, there's little more than vague intentions." headtopics.com
Sebastian Buscemi says he has no confidence the reforms will be properly implemented.()Mr Buscemi said the system was completely broken."This isn't the first time that the community has been told about this, that the government has been told about these problems and the need for reform," he said.
"Unfortunately, I don't really have any confidence that we're going to see this properly implemented ever."Program leader's credibility called into question Read more: ABC News »
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