independent investigation into WA's Department for Child Protection.


The state's failure to protect a sexually abused teen girl after placing her in a residential care home with a teenage boy who she claims ended up sexually assaulting her has sparked an independent investigation into WA's Department for Child Protection.

Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk conceded to having knowledge that department children were "implicated" in Operation Timing Belt before WA Police went public in August with allegations that more than a dozen sexual assault offenders groomed their 140 teenage victims on social media.

The courageous story of 17-year-old Macie*, exclusively reported by WAtoday, detailed how some of the males accused of being part of the alleged paedophile ring met their victims when they were housed together in Department of Communities care homes.

“They didn’t actually groom the girls on social media,” Macie said. “They groomed them by living with them in group homes.”

In an interview with WAtoday this week, Ms McGurk said she had called for an independent review by the Commissioner for Children and Young People into WA’s child protection system policies and practices, and questioned their appropriateness.

"Based on discussions with the minister, it was agreed I will undertake an independent review of Department of Communities' policies, practices and services regarding the placement of children with harmful sexual behaviours in residential care," he said.

As of June 30, there were 5948 children in out-of-home care. Of those, 375 were in residential care.

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