Updates

Government response to the inaugural Child Death Review Board Annual Report 2020-21

Queensland Government media release

The Queensland Government tabled its response in Parliament to the inaugural Child Death Review Board Annual Report 2020-21 outlining the Government’s commitment to implement further initiatives, policies and practices to help keep children in the child protection system safe.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman, thanked the Board for their report and work to protect Queensland children.

Minister Fentiman said the response to the report came after the independent Child Death Review Board, which commenced operation on 1 July 2020, was tasked with carrying out systemic reviews following child deaths connected to the child protection system.

“The death of a child in any circumstances is an absolute tragedy and it’s crucial that when a child known to the child protection system dies, we learn from these tragedies to prevent future deaths,” Minister Fentiman said.

“The Child Death Review board conducts comprehensive and systemic reviews of child deaths that extend beyond reviewing key government agency services to an individual child.”

The Board can consider matters relating to the provision of services to, and other interactions with, children and their families by government and non-government entities.

The Child Death Review Board Annual Report 2020-21 examined the deaths of 55 children connected to the child protection system and its report made 10 recommendations to government agencies to address systemic issues, and a call for agencies to take specific actions regarding policies, procedures and practices.

Minister for Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs Leanne Linard said the Board’s recommendations were in response to its findings across three focus areas.

“The Board specifically examined and made recommendations surrounding engagement with targeted secondary services, the accuracy and quality of child protection assessments, as well as the accessibility and availability of suicide prevention and support after a suicide,” Minister Linard said.

“A number of important initiatives that seek to implement the Board’s recommendations are already underway across Government and additional programs, policies and practices will undergo further development in the coming the months to help protect vulnerable children and young people from harm.”

Minister Fentiman also noted that, in addition to the Child Death Review Board’s Annual Report, the Queensland Government had received the Queensland Family and Child’s Commission (QFCC) Annual Report: Deaths of children and young people, Queensland, 2020-21.

“The QFCC maintains a register of information relating to all child deaths in Queensland,” Minister Fentiman said.

“The annual report analyses this information and reports on trends and patterns over time to inform research, policies, programs and public education campaigns to reduce deaths and to help keep children safe.

“The Commission’s analysis of child deaths in Queensland provides a valuable resource and will inform both government and non-government death prevention activities and measures.

“I would like to thank the Child Death Review Board and the Queensland Family and Child Commission for their dedication and work towards keeping children and young people in Queensland safe.”

The report is available on the QFCC website.