The Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (the Act) places strong emphasis on the wellbeing and safety of children who cannot live safely at home. The Act sets out procedures and principles for the protection of Children including their best interests. The Act also provides for the creation of a Suitability Panel (the Panel) to assess whether an allegation of physical or sexual abuse against a child is proved and whether, as a result, an individual is found to pose an unacceptable risk of harm to children and is therefore disqualified from being registered to care for children.
The Suitability Panel can decide:
- whether an out-of-home-carer (a carer) should be disqualified from being on the register of carers
- whether a carer's disqualification should be removed
Any person may report or make a notification to the Secretary of the Department of Human Services alleging physical or sexual abuse by a foster carer or a residential out of home carer towards a child or young person under the age of 18 years at the time of the alleged abuse.