Western Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS) supports the recommendations in the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory report, and is pleased that the recommendations have focused on early intervention measures that aim to keep young people out of child protection and youth justice systems.
WACOSS has championed for therapeutic approaches to health, education, and the prevention of harm, following the report into Western Australia’s youth detention centre, Banksia Hill, and is pleased to see this included in the Royal Commission’s report.
Western Australia is not dissimilar to the NT. Aboriginal children and young people represent 54% of all children in Out of Home Care in WA, and three quarters of young people in custody. This over-representation needs to be addressed at a national and state level.
It is important that the report’s recommendations are implemented immediately and that the State, Territory, and Federal Governments work collaboratively with Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, to reform the youth justice system in this country.
The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory Report can be found here.