Ballarat welfare agencies welcome inquiry commitment

By Neelima Choahan
Updated November 2 2012 - 6:58pm, first published March 1 2012 - 10:44am

BALLARAT welfare organisations have welcomed a state government commitment to act on recommendations of an inquiry into the child protection system. The Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry, which was launched last year on January 31, investigated systemic problems in Victoria’s child protection system. Tabled it the Victorian Parliament on Wednesday, the report made 90 recommendations, 20 findings and identified 14 matters for attention. Children and Family Services Ballarat chief executive Kevin Zibell, who was part of the reference group, said it was a comprehensive document which made some excellent suggestions.“It is going to help us now and into the future,” Mr Zibell said.“The recommendations need to be adequately resourced ... we need a substantial commitment from the government to implement the report.”“That will make Ballarat children safer.”But, Mr Zibell said, too much attention had been given to one of the recommendations to lift the suppression order on paedophiles. “I am not against necessarily the lifting of the suppression order,” he said.“(But) we know nearly all child abuse happens within the home by family members.”Centacare Ballarat chief executive David Beaver said he hoped the inquiry may lead to better funded and developed preventative steps in the areas of child abuse and neglect.

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