Legislative amendments to the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005
The amendments to the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 relate to Secure Welfare Services and out of home care.
The amendment in relation to Secure Welfare Services authorises staff to:
The second amendment will prohibit the use of physical force by Secure Welfare Services and out of home carers, unless reasonable and necessary to prevent a child from harming themselves or others or damaging property, security reasons or as otherwise authorised by law. The amendment will also prohibit corporal punishment or intimidation of a child and any form of physical or emotional abuse by out of home carers and Secure Welfare Services. Out of home carers includes residential carers and foster carers or a person employed by an out of home care service to provide care or services to children in an out of home care service managed by the service.
The amendments clarify that Secure Welfare services are lock up facilities and makes search definitions consistent for Secure Welfare Services and youth justice facilities.
The above amendments will be implemented on 1 July 2014. The Centre for Excellence has requested detailed advice from the Department of Human Services on these changes especially on physical force unless reasonable and necessary.
Legislative amendment to the Education and Training Reform Act 2006
A legislative amendment has been made to the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 that provides for the registration of early childhood teachers to recognise them as qualified teaching professionals. This results in early childhood teachers becoming classified as mandated reporters of physical and sexual child abuse under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 like teachers. This amendment will not be implemented for approximately 15 months to allow time to prepare the sector.