|Select Committee on the Adequacy of Foster Care Assessment Procedures by the Department for Community Development - Establishment (Established September 21 2005)
On the Motion of Hon Robyn McSweeney, as amended, as follows -
(1) That a Select Committee of three Members is appointed to inquire and report into the adequacy of foster care procedures within the Department for Community Development.
(2) The Committee is to inquire and report on -
(a) the circumstances surrounding the 42 cases of abuse of children in care that are alleged to have taken place between April 2004 and September 2005;
(b) the adequacy of screening and assessment of and training and support for all foster carers including new, experienced, relative and family carers;
(c) the adequacy of funding, training, supervision and support of Department for Community Development caseworkers including but not limited to issues of staff turnover, competing priorities and case loads;
(d) the establishment of an independent advocate for children in foster care;
(e) the adequacy of the Department for Community Development procedures and practises in identifying abuse, particularly emotional abuse, in foster care including, but not limited to, relative and family care where there is intra family conflict and foster care where negative attitudes to the family of origin are expressed by the carers; and
(f) any other related matter that the Committee considers relevant.
(3) (a) Standing Orders 329, 330, 331, 337 and 338 and the definition of “evidence” in Standing Order 322 apply to the proceedings of the Committee.
(b) Standing Orders 358 and 361 do not apply. Unless the Committee otherwise orders, evidence will be received in private. Evidence received in private may not be disclosed or published unless that evidence has been reported to the Council or that disclosure or publication has been authorised by the Committee.
(c) The proceedings of the Committee during the hearing of public evidence are open to accredited news media and the public. Committee deliberations will be conducted in closed session.
(4) The Committee is to report by March 28 2006. (Subsequently the Legislative Council extended the reporting deadline to August 24 2006.)