23/10/2007 - 13:47

Michelle Scott appointed Childrens' Commissioner

23/10/2007 - 13:47

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Public Advocate Michelle Scott has been appointed the Commissioner for Children and Young People for a five-year term, after a long appointment process, Child Protection Minister Sue Ellery has announced.

Public Advocate Michelle Scott has been appointed the Commissioner for Children and Young People for a five-year term, after a long appointment process, Child Protection Minister Sue Ellery has announced.

The Minister said Ms Scott was an outstanding choice for the position, bringing to the role 29 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, including five years in her current role.

"Ms Scott has a proven track record in developing and implementing public policy in a broad range of areas and has worked at senior levels within the State and Commonwealth governments," Ms Ellery said.

"In her role as Public Advocate, she demonstrated strong leadership in protecting and promoting the rights of people with decision-making disabilities.

"Her experience in this area will be invaluable in promoting and protecting the rights of children and helping reduce their risk of neglect, exploitation and abuse."

Anglicare WA Chief Executive Ian Carter welcomed the appointment, saying Ms Scott would need to find a place in the Government policy and program processes where she could play a key role in ensuring that children and young people are at the forefront of policy priorities in Western Australia.

 

 

The full text of the announcement from Ms Ellery's office is pasted below

Western Australia has taken a major step forward in the protection of children with the appointment today of the State's first Commissioner for Children and Young People.

Child Protection and Communities Minister Sue Ellery said the Premier had appointed Public Advocate Michelle Scott for a five-year term.

"This appointment marks a historic moment in WA as it is the first time this State has had an independent and powerful advocate for children and young people," Ms Ellery said.

"The Commissioner will inquire into and comment on the actions of government, non-government and the private sector and will be a voice for children and young people in public debates.

"The independence of the commissioner is comparable with that of ombudsman and the Auditor General and would report directly to Parliament."

The Minister said Ms Scott was an outstanding choice for the position, bringing to the role 29 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, including five years as Public Advocate.

"Ms Scott has a proven track record in developing and implementing public policy in a broad range of areas and has worked at senior levels within the State and Commonwealth governments," Ms Ellery said.

"In her role as Public Advocate, she demonstrated strong leadership in protecting and promoting the rights of people with decision-making disabilities.

"Her experience in this area will be invaluable in promoting and protecting the rights of children and helping reduce their risk of neglect, exploitation and abuse."

Ms Ellery said child protection was the highest priority of the Carpenter Government.

Over the past 18 months the Government has invested more than $300 million in the new Department for Child Protection, including $100 million for action on the recommendations of the Ford Review into the former Department of Community Development.

Recent boosts to child protection include:

  • The largest staffing increase in the history of the department, with most of the new positions now having been filled;
  • An increase in staffing, with a further 300 workers to provide child protection services, with the bulk of these having now been recruited;
  • An increase in pay of between $108 and $149 per week to attract and retain child protection workers - including fieldworkers, education officers, team leaders, and clinical psychologists;
  • Additional residential care services for children and young people, including $3.8 million for a secure facility for young people in need of high levels of care and supervision;
  • An additional $23 million in the 2006-07 Budget over four years for children in care to help meet their direct costs, such as contact visits with parents, child care and medical and educational expenses;
  • The largest ever increase in the subsidy paid to foster and relative carers with a funding boost of $32.35 million over four years. More respite and improved training will be provided for carers with an additional 10 days respite for every carer each year; and
  • $1 million over four years for the recruitment and training of Aboriginal foster carers through a community agency.

Ms Scott will commence her new role on December 10.

 

The full text of the Anglicare announcement is pasted below

Anglicare WA Chief Executive Ian Carter welcomes the appointment of Michelle Scott as the Commissioner for Children and Young People.

"The appointment process has taken far too long but I am very happy that Michelle Scott has been appointed to this important position. She brings a significant set of experiences and skills both within Government and in the wider community and is an excellent appointment" Mr Carter said.

The challenge now for the new Commissioner is to find a place in the State Government policy and program processes where she can play a key role in ensuring that children and young people are at the forefront of policy priorities in Western Australia.

Mr Carter said "Children and young people are not our future, they are already here! They need to be cared for and protected as a matter of community priority. We all need to be child focused in our outlook."

Anglicare WA is committed to these ideals and objectives and looks forward to working with Michelle Scott in her new role.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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