State Parliament has passed laws to establish an independent Child Death Review Board to examine child death cases in Queensland.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the new board will conduct systemic reviews of child deaths that extend beyond reviewing key government agency service provision to an individual child.
“The loss of a child, in any circumstances, is a tragedy,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“When a child known to the child protection system dies, it’s imperative that we learn from these tragedies and, where possible, help prevent future deaths.
“Child Safety and the Director of Child Protection Litigation are already required to conduct internal systems reviews where they’ve had involvement with a child who has died or suffered a serious physical injury.
“The requirement will now be expanded to health, education, community and justice services, that support vulnerable children and families.
“This includes Queensland Health, Department of Education, Queensland Police Service, and the Department of Youth Justice.
“It’s about promoting ongoing learning and improvement, accountability, and collaboration across these key government agencies that have a high degree of contact with children known to the child protection system.”
The Child Death Review Board will be located within the Queensland Family and Child Commission. This is consistent with the approach in Victoria and other jurisdictions whereby the child death review function is independent from the government department responsible for child protection services.
“The new laws will require the Board to act independently and in the public interest and it will not be subject to my direction, or the direction of anyone else, in performing its functions,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“This is yet another sign of the Palaszczuk Government’s ongoing commitment to protecting Queensland’s most vulnerable children.”